Interview with Mary Shotwell, author of Weariland

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I wrote Weariland not only for myself but for my teenage nieces. I wanted the protagonist to be relatable to them, which steered me to write Young Adult. In addition, I’ve always enjoyed fantasy and sci-fi, and that is where my imagination leads me.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I grew up with six siblings and working parents. No one had much time to read to me, so I yearned to learn how as fast as possible. I wanted to know the stories behind the colorful covers of the books at the library. Once I learned, I couldn’t stop. I had the freedom to explore wherever I wanted with whomever I wanted.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Currently I write Young Adult, in what I call “light” fantasy. It’s not as heavy as, say, Lord of the Rings, in terms of descriptions of familial hierarchies, landscape, etc. I have to write scientifically for work, so I enjoy the complete opposite end of the spectrum to exercise my creativity.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Even though I write light fantasy, I try to be as real as possible—make events realistic, or if they’re beyond our realm, make reactions of characters to the fantastical world realistic. I like to think my writing is clean and fast. Not much of a “fluff” writer. My scientific writing experience keeps me in line there.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

Ugh. Cutting out whole characters and chapters. I sent the manuscript off to agents, and I received feedback from one or two that recommended I cut out a side story following a reporter. I ignored the feedback at first, and queried more agents. I repeatedly received advice to stick to Lason’s story more and less to the reporter’s part. Finally, I gave in when an agent from Writers House said the same thing, but gave me details as to why, in addition to in-depth feedback elsewhere. I had to cut my reporter out, and it hurt. It was the right decision, but it still aches thinking about it.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Michael Crichton! I love how he incorporated the realistic with the fictional. I read in a brief bio that he wrote 10,000 words a day. Although I strive to have his pacing, clarity, and imagination, I realize I probably won’t if it takes 10,000 words a day. That’s crazy.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

Planning. Having all the character attributes, character paths mapped out, and action in each chapter makes writing incredibly smoother. Some have said, “As long as you wrote today, then you were successful.” Rubbish! I wrote mostly “off the cuff” for about 25,000 words of Weariland and it took forever. I changed my mind, I went down blind alleys, and it was exhausting. When I got serious and mapped out the story, I was able to finish.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

Part-time. I write less when it’s part-time, since I prefer long chunks of time per sitting. I can remember what I already wrote and who was doing what to move forward more efficiently (2000-4000 words a day). I get that time in the summer, and get a taste of what it feels like to write full time for a few weeks (it’s wonderful). During the school year, I only have nights to write, which results in 300-1000 words per day, and I don’t write everyday (*gasp*).

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

Too many to list all of them. My first real job was as a server and party hostess at Chuck E. Cheese’s. I worked as an undercover buyer of cigarettes to fine stores if they didn’t card me, gave campus tours as an undergrad, and substituted K-12. All experiences aided in getting to know people. Working with kids and teens helped in characterizing that demographic in writing.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m finishing a dystopian YA novel in which the protagonists are brother/sister. It takes place in the distant future (as most dystopian does) and explores the evolution of humans when the smartest minds seclude themselves from the rest of society.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

I anticipated a question by people who read both the book and one of my earliest blog posts. In the post, I write about my history with my sister. After writing Weariland, I wondered if readers would ask, “Is the character of Nicholas a reflection of your sister?” The answer is No. Perhaps subconsciously, but I didn’t plan him to be an interpretation of my sister and our relationship.

What book do you wish you could have written?

I changed this to book and/or screenplay here. The Boxtrolls and The Lego Movie are so clever, in both surface story and deeper levels. I also wish I had written The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is genius, and I would have worked with the amazing Danny Elfman.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I take names seriously. I Google girl/boy names to get ideas, but often I pinpoint a region and time period to get appropriate names. I’ve also taken a character trait and jumbled the letters or sounds. For instance, Ruban is a red rabbit, and I found his name by picking letters from ‘auburn’.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Hard to say, but the question made me think, How cool would it be to have ‘To Be Continued…’

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Has someone already said Hogwarts? Ever since seeing Dr. Zhivago, I’ve wanted to visit Russia. Perhaps not in the current political climate, but then again, the past hasn’t offered many better times to travel the country.



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Mary grew up in northeast Ohio, so it was only natural for her to pursue a degree in marine biology. After studying dolphin behavior and estimating great white shark populations, she earned her Ph.D. in Biostatistics in Charleston, South Carolina. It was there, during the arduous dissertation process, where she had the idea to write a book.

With Alice and the crazy characters from Wonderland staring her down from her bedroom poster, Mary envisioned what that fantasy realm would look like in current day. Creative writing served as a natural escape from technical writing, wedding planning, pregnancy, and job hunting.

Mary is excited to debut Weariland (Merge Publishing, 2016), a novel introducing Lason Davies, a teenager who learns about her family’s past in a world once called Wonderland. She currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and three children.


Lason is haunted by the last words of her murdered relative as she and her mother fly to England for the funeral. The crime is a sensation, but the clamoring reporters and news photographers aren’t the only ones interested in their arrival.

As Lason copes with the family loss, she encounters a mysterious stranger. He hails from Weariland, a dreary world once known as Wonderland. Lason wants to confide in her mother, whose long-repressed family demons have resurfaced, along with her erratic behavior. Convinced she’ll find answers about her grandmother’s death, Lason takes the leap to help the stranger, leaving her world behind.

Lason’s mother wakes to find her biggest fear realized—Lason is missing. When the murder investigation turns up traces of unknown black goo and pictures of a giant creature, she believes in her gut something out of the ordinary truly is happening. And it’s not the first time a loved one has disappeared.

As her mother confronts the past she so desperately tried to forget, Lason must navigate through an unpredictable realm, encountering colorful, fantastical characters and discovering her family’s elusive history. Ultimately, she must rely on her courage to brave it alone when her guide is captured, along with her only chance to ever getting home.


Interview with Suzanne Enoch on her latest release, Hero in the Highlands

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

My first writing love was actually fantasy. I received a couple of promising publisher rejections for a pair of fantasy books, got frustrated, and took a bet from my sisters to write a Regency Romance since I clearly loved reading them. (Hey, they still each owe me a dollar.) That was the book that a publisher bought, and so that’s the direction I headed. Eventually I’d like to dig out those old fantasy books and look at them again, but for the moment I’m quite happy to be writing romance. I love a happy ending.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Both my parents are big readers, and that’s what I thought every family was like. Every summer we’d go to the library every two weeks and check out a three-foot stack of books from multiple genres. As for the writing gene, I think that came from my great-grandfather, who was a cowboy in his youth. He wrote for a local Texas newspaper, and had a book about his life published (Cowboy Life on the Llano Estacado, by Vivian Whitlock).

How long have you been writing?

That’s a tough question. I started out one-finger typing pages from “Little House in the Big Woods” to give as Christmas presents back when I was six or seven (and before I knew about plagiarism). In elementary school I wrote stories like all the other kids, but I REALLY liked it. After I read Joy Adamson’s “Born Free” and Jane Goodall’s “In the Shadow of Man” at about age ten I decided I would be a zoologist in Africa and write about my adventures. Then when I turned 13 I saw “Star Wars” and it dawned on me that I could make up adventures and not be killed by poisonous snakes. That stayed my plan from then on.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I mostly write full-length Historical Romance, Scotland-set at the moment, though I also have a contemporary Romantic Suspense series featuring the same pair of protagonists.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I think it’s the humor and the wit – I try to approach a book from the attitude of one of those 1930’s screwball comedies, where everybody is clever and conversations are like intricate dances (or swordfights).

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

My hero, Gabriel Forrester, is a career soldier. I’m not a soldier, but I wanted his point of view to be authentic – the way he approaches problems, the way he views life and death – and that was a little different for me. I’m pretty proud of the way he turned out.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Oh, the banter. I love writing witty, flirty banter. I get to write two characters who make all the quips and retorts that we all wish we could managed on the spot, but that are really tricky to pull off in real life. I love finding ways for the characters to reveal parts of themselves by the words they choose to use, and the ones they avoid.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

I majored in English in college, so I spent a great deal of time learning story pacing, naming the five parts of a story, point of view, active voice, etc. The most valuable advice I got was from one of my professors, and he told me to read – not just in the genre that interested me, but any GOOD writing. And the more, the better. James Joyce, Mark Twain, James Fenimore Cooper, Jane Austen – books that have stayed in the public eye because they’re well-written. I’ve always been a big reader so I had a lot of that background already, but I found him to be totally, utterly correct.

The thing I was happiest to disregard, even though it took some time and experience to figure out, was the idea that every word I put on paper had to be perfect. Now I go by the rule that anything can be improved, but first it just has to be written down. I call it WTBD – Write the book, dummy.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I’ve been writing full time for about the past fourteen years. It’s weird, but in a way I think I’m a little less focused than I was when I had a much more limited time to write. Overall my production has stayed about the same, but I REALLY don’t miss the stress of my day job. I feel like I have more time to play around with a story now, to see where it takes me.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

All the way through high school and college and thereafter I knew I was going to be a writer, so I looked for “jobs” rather than a “career”. I worked in a movie theater box office, did billing and Girl Friday stuff for two different law firms, served as public relations and alumni assistant for an optometry college, and spent eleven long years as the assistant to the president of a Mercedes dealership. The only bonus to that one was that it gave me writing time most afternoons.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I never seem to have much free time these days, but I enjoy reading English and Scottish history and mythology – you never know what might spark an idea. And of course I read my friends’ books, which I can’t do while I’m writing.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I just finished MY ONE TRUE HIGHLANDER, the second book in this “No Ordinary Hero” trilogy, and I’m starting on book number three, which doesn’t have a title yet.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’d like to write a few more novella-length stories, because they have more of the pacing and rhythm of the old traditional Regencies. And I REALLY want to get back to work on the next book in my contemporary series, because I’ve already taken a seven-year break. That’s probably a bit much, and I’m really grateful to the readers who keep cheering me on instead of throwing things at me for taking so long.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I handwrite my books as much as I can. I go through about five college-ruled notebooks and about ten pens per book. Every afternoon I transcribe what I’ve written into the computer, which gives me an immediate first edit. It’s a little slower, I suppose, but I find that I have way fewer rewrites when it takes a little more effort to do the first draft.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names are very important to me. I’ve been known to trash an opening chapter because the hero or heroine’s name doesn’t fit with the world it needs to occupy. I have a couple of baby name books, but I also like to look through indexes and bibliographies of books published during the time period in which I’m writing. I’ve also found some lists of Scottish names and meanings online, along with lists of Highland clans and the septs beneath them. Those are invaluable when I’m staying with a particular clan but don’t everyone in it to have the same last name.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

I love talking in accents. I do it all the time, anyway. My favorite three to listen to are proper English (the one the Shakespearean actors use), Scottish, and Jamaican. Oh, and Cajun is pretty cool, too.




Suzanne Enoch grew up in Southern California, where she still balances her love for the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer and classic romantic comedies with her obsession for anything Star Wars. Given her love of food and comfy chairs, she may in fact be a Hobbit. She has written more than 35 romance novels, including traditional Regencies, Historical Romance, and contemporary Romantic Suspense. When she isn’t working on her next book she is trying to learn to cook, and wishes she had an English accent. She is the bestselling author ofThe Scandalous Brides series, The Scandalous Highlandersseries, and One Hot Scot.

Connect with Suzanne online:

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Scotland, 1812: He’s ferocious and rugged to the bone, an English soldier more at home on the battlefield than in any Society drawing room. And when Major Gabriel Forrester learns that he’s inherited the massive Scottish Highlands title and estate of a distant relation, the last thing he wants to do is give up the intensity of the battlefield for the too-soft indulgences of noble life. But Gabriel Forrester does not shirk his responsibilities, and when he meets striking, raven-eyed lass Fiona Blackstock, his new circumstances abruptly become more intriguing.

Like any good Highlander, Fiona despises the English—and the new Duke of Lattimer is no exception. Firstly, he is far too attractive for Fiona’s peace of mind. Secondly, his right to “her” castle is a travesty, since it’s been clan Maxwell property for ages. As the two enter a heated battle of wills, an unexpected passion blazes into a love as fierce as the Highlands themselves. Is Fiona strong enough to resist her enemy’s advances—or is Gabriel actually her hero in disguise?

If you haven’t already, then as bestselling author Lisa Kleypas said, “It’s time to fall in love with Suzanne Enoch.”



Interview with Melissa Cutler, Author of One More Taste

Please describe One More Taste in one sentence.

When a brazen chef tries to prove her chops to her sexy new boss, they heat up a lot more than the kitchen.

What can readers expect from One More Taste?

Readers can expect my signature combination of a book full of both humor and emotional resonance…with one seriously spicy romance woven throughout it.

Which of your characters would you most & least like to invite to dinner, from which book and why?

The characters from this series that I’d most like to invite to dinner are all those hot, sexy cowboy heroes (surprise, surprise!). Decker, Micah, Knox, and (from upcoming books) Paul and Gentry. Mmm….sexy cowboy heroes at my dinner table…now there’s a dream come true!

The character from the series that I’d least like to have over for dinner, and which readers of the series would probably agree with me, is Ty Briscoe, the villain of the first three stories.

Are there any differences and/or similarities between Emily from One More Taste and Carina from The Mistletoe Effect?

While Emily and Carina are best friends, they have very different personalities. Carina is all about becoming a mom and not working too hard, which is a shift because she used to be a work-a-holic, which Emily still is. On the other hand, Carina is a rule follower, while Emily is more of a rebel. What they do have in common is that they love each other and their home of Briscoe Ranch Resort very much.

Out of all of the secondary characters within One and Only Texas Series, do you have one or two favorites so far? If so, who are they and can you tell us why?

What a fun question. I tend to write books that have huge casts of characters, so there are lots of secondary characters to choose from. My current favorite is from next year’s release, ONE WILD NIGHT, and it’s the heroine’s grandmother, Mama Lita, who clashes with Granny June at every turn because, while Granny June is the consummate matchmaker of the series, Mama Lita is a wild spirit who doesn’t believe a woman needs a man in her life.

Random Question (so I can try to have your name listed in that color) – What is your favorite color?

Red. Love it!

June Briscoe is one of my favorite characters.  She’s appeared in all the books.  How did you come up with her and her amazing personality (sneakiness, quirks and all)?

She’s one of my favorite characters in the series, too. When I wrote her character’s first ever scene, in scene one of THE MISTLETOE EFFECT, she seemed like an old, strict Italian mafia grandma with old world superstitions at first, which probably would have been fine, but I then wrote a draft that lightened her up and turned her into the scene’s comic relief…and I instantly fell in love with her! Hence, the Granny June we all know and love was born.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Growing up, my house wasn’t a pleasant one, and so I kept to myself in my bedroom as much as possible. In a huge way I’m grateful for the way my childhood played out, because my imagination flourished. The earliest I can remember writing stories and poems is age four. Writing them and reading books took me away to other times and places and let me live, for a little while, in magical places. Even then, I knew I was a writer, an identity that stayed with me in all the years since.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

What most characterizes my writing is a combination of humor and emotion weight. I’m really interested in real issues and the struggles that everyday people face in their lives, not just romantically, but with family and friends and their careers. My heroines tend to be quirky, smart, career-focused women and my heroes tend to be blue collar workers. In that way, Knox Briscoe, the hero of ONE MORE TASTE, is unusual. I rarely write about wealthy men because they don’t tend to hold my interest, but what I love about Knox is how he rose to wealth from blue collar roots, which makes his relationship to his wealth and his family really complicated in the best, juiciest possible way for an author to explore.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about One More Taste, but no one has? Please write it out here, then answer it.

Q: Have you ever executed a revenge plot (like Knox does in the story)?

A: Mwahahaha! I’ll never tell! ☺

Q: Has your car or house ever been haunted by a dead relative?

A: No, but I fully plan on returning to my high school to haunt it after I pass away like the ghosts at Hogwarts do in the Harry Potter series. [kids whispering to each other] “They say she never recovered from getting that C in Spanish her freshman year, and now she walks the halls begging for extra credit to raise her grade. Poor, tortured soul.”

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I can’t decide between these two: 1) controlling the weather, or 2) having the power to heal people with a touch. Either one would make the world a better place in significant ways.

What literary character is most like you?

Depends on the day. You know how it goes—some days you’re George, while other days you’re Lenny. Captain Ahab pops up every so often. And Jack Reacher, sometimes. And then there are those days that we all have when we’re Frankenstein’s monster. Mostly, I aspire to be Olivia, the pig from the children’s picture book. Oh, if we could all be more like Olivia. 



Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world writing sexy contemporary romances and romantic suspense. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she’s not globetrotting, she’s enjoying Southern California’s flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids.  Find out more at Melissa’s website:

Amazing Praise For Melissa Cutler:

“Cutler’s engaging, down-to-earth storytelling makes this contemporary romance soar. A prideful, strong-willed heroine in Emily combined with Knox’s toughness and grit, along with the battle-of-wills between them, will appeal to readers. With genuine, delightful secondary characters, a rock-solid plot, and the passionate tension between Emily and Knox, Cutler’s latest is full of humor and heart.”—RT Book Reviews on One More Taste

“Melissa Cutler is a bright new voice in contemporary romance.” —New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde on One Hot Summer



Melissa Cutler, author of One Hot Summer is back and ready to quench your thirst for romance with her new novel ONE MORE TASTE (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; October 4, 2016; $7.99), where one man will discover that revenge is a dish best served sizzling hot…

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Welcome to the Briscoe Ranch Resort, where love is always on the menu.

Chef Emily Ford has the talent and ambition to make it in the cutthroat culinary world—which is why she refuses to accept her demotion at the hands of Knox Briscoe, the new CEO of Briscoe Ranch Resort. He has grand plans that include bringing in a celebrity chef to helm an exciting new restaurant at the resort, but Emily has plans of her own—to do whatever it takes to change his mind…

Cut out of the Briscoe fortune by an old feud that left his family in ruins, Knox grew up dreaming of revenge. Out-maneuvering his uncle for control of Briscoe Ranch is merely the first step in a grand plan that doesn’t include the brazen and beautiful Emily Ford…or the attraction that sizzles between them. With both their futures on the line, can they keep their desires on simmer—or are they headed from the frying pan straight into the fire?




A knock sounded at the open door. Everyone turned, relieved at the distraction. A woman Knox would recognize anywhere filled the doorway, a folder clutched in her arms and a hard-set look of determination on her face. Chef Emily Ford.


            “Ty told me about you. You’ve worked at this resort since right out of culinary school a decade ago. No internships, no stints as a sous chef at a celebrated restaurant, nothing remarkable, not even a chef competition show on TV. Your whole career, you’ve been here at Briscoe Ranch, laboring in obscurity. If you’re so talented, then why have you been holding yourself back?”

            He watched the shift of her weight from one foot to the other, the extra squeeze she gave the folder in her hand. He’d hit a nerve. Good. Turnabout was fair play.

            “I’m not holding myself back. All the years I’ve worked here, laboring in obscurity”—she said with a scoff—“I’ve had the freedom to cook what I want, every dish completely original instead of imitations of more prominent chefs or attempts to pander to critics’ fickle tastes. Over the last decade, I’ve risen from a graveyard-shift line cook in the room service kitchen to the executive catering chef, one of the principal roles at the resort.” She spun the folder onto his desk and speared a finger on it. “A few months ago, Ty agreed to my proposal to open a high-concept, signature restaurant at the resort. Subterranean, I’m going to call it. We were in the process of securing funding when you showed up and ruined everything.”

            He took a step nearer to her, then another, stopping just short of arm’s length. This close, those freckles on her cheeks came into focus again, as did a faint, hairline scar along her jaw that curved to her chin. He refocused on her furious green eyes. “I did not take this opportunity away from you. Ty did. He was the one who contacted me, looking for investors. My presence here to execute my vision for the resort, as well as the timing of it, was at his invitation. If he let you believe your restaurant would be possible under this new vision, then he was stringing you along. He’s your enemy, not me.”

            Emily blanched, but only for a split second before recovering her wits. “He wasn’t stringing me along. I’m sure he was grooming me for your takeover, knowing you’d want to step up the caliber of the resort’s dining options. He’s not my enemy. He’s the employer who gave me a chance. All I need is an open door and a budget and I will give you the restaurant of your vision.”

            She’d been dead on about his sixth sense and the rush he got with each thrill of discovery. He felt that familiar rush right now while sparring with her. He couldn’t wait for her to leave so he could read her proposal. He should have eaten the damn soup. Now he’d never know what he’d missed. “You and I aren’t so different in our ambition, you know.”

            She sniffed at that, feigning a nonchalance he saw right through. “You couldn’t be more wrong. I possess a patience that you clearly lack.”

            Oh, this woman. She wouldn’t stop pushing his buttons. He felt heat rising on his neck. He had to stuff his hand in his pockets so he wouldn’t give in to the discomfort and tug his tie loose. Emily had no idea how much patience it had taken to wait for the right time to make his move against Ty Briscoe. Years of planning and strategy, years of positioning himself in the right business, with the right connections, silently closing in on his prey, waiting to pounce until the time was right—until the prey thought it was his idea and came to him, on the verge of bankruptcy and begging for a bailout.

            “Prove it,” he heard himself say, not knowing exactly what he meant by the dare.

            Her gaze was unflinching. “How?”

            He had to think fast. “I’ll give you four weeks. If you can prove to me in that time that you’re as gifted a chef as you claim, then I’ll hand you the reins of the restaurant along with whatever budget you require for this . . . Subterranean.”

CREDIT: From ONE MORE TASTE by Melissa Cutler. Copyright © 2016 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.


Kate Meader talks about her new release on THE LIBRARIAN


Host Tabatha Pope welcomes Kate Meader to THE LIBRARIAN on Authors on the Air Global Radio Network at 7:30 PM ET, tonight!  Join live or listen to the podcast later here.



Kate Meader was raised on romance. An Irish girl, she started with Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, and spiced it up with some Mills & Boon. Now based in Chicago, she writes romances of her own, where sexy contemporary alpha heroes and strong heroines match each other quip for quip. When not immersed in tales of brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, Kate lives on the web at




Pocket Books

September 27, 2016

ISBN 9781476785936; $7.99

Praise for Sparking the Fire, Book 3:

“The tale of hot firefighters and the women—and one man—who love them has come to an end. Meader ends this series with role playing, fierce family loyalty and multiple orgasms. The male protagonist goes through a transformation that showcases his vulnerability, insecurities, possessiveness and protectiveness. The many instances of a family sticking together through it all are more than enough to tug on the heart strings, but the steamy sex and sentimental pillow talk make this book a must-read.”

RT Book Reviews Four Star Review, Scorcher


“Can a firefighter and a movie star really make it work? Meader (Rekindle the Flame, 2015) immerses you in Wyatt’s tight-knit family of foster siblings that she’s built throughout the Hot in Chicago series, and readers will feel like part of the family in no time. Her descriptions of Chicago will leave fans wanting to travel to the Windy City and fall in love with their own firefighters.”


About Sparking the Fire, Book 3:


Heating up reading lists this Fall will be Kate Meader’s highly anticipated Sparking the Fire, the “sexy and sassy” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux) steamy third novel in the Hot in Chicago series, where former lovers unexpectedly reunite for a sizzling affair that will have the director yelling, “Quiet on the set!”


Wyatt Fox, resident daredevil at Engine Company 6, needs a low key job to keep him busy while he recovers from his latest rescue stunt. Consulting on a local movie shoot should add just enough spark to his day. But then in struts Molly Cade: the woman who worked his heart over good, and then left him in the Windy City dust.


Actor Molly Cade, America’s fallen sweetheart, finally has her shot at a Hollywood comeback with a dramatic new role as a tough-as-nails firefighter that promises to propel her back into the big time. And she’s not going to let anything stand in her way—even a certain brooding, blue-eyed firefighter she’s never quite been able to forget…Their story is straight out of a script: irrepressible, spunky heroine meets taciturn, smoldering hero. But these two refuse to be typecast, and when the embers of an old love are stoked, someone is bound to get burned…




KINDLE (ebook)   NOOK (ebook)   GOOGLE PLAY (ebook)


We are excited to do a Kindle Fire Giveaway to celebrate the third in Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago series, Sparking the Fire. This giveaway will include Flirting with Fire (Book 1) and Playing with Fire (Book 2). You can visit all sites on the blog tour to enter the Fire Giveaways – but keep in mind you can only win once! U.S. only.

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Check out these stops on the Blog Tour:

September 14:

RT Book Reviews – Exclusive Excerpt only

September 20:

Heroes and Heartbreakers – Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway

September 23:

USA Today’s Happy Ever After – Exclusive Excerpt only

September 26:

Harlequin Junkie – Spotlight + Giveaway

Under the Covers – Interview

A Midlife Wife

Mrs. Leif’s Two Fangs About It

September 27:

Collector of Book Boyfriends

Literary Gossip

The Romance Reviews

Once Upon a Twilight

Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews

September 28:

Four Chicks Flipping Pages

In Between the Pages

Reviews by Crystal

Read Love Blog

September 29:

Abigail Books Addiction

Read Your Writes

Booklovers for Life

Dirty and Thirty

September 30:

Lush Book Reviews

Art, Books & Coffee

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

The Lovely Books

October 3:

The Romance Dish

Margie’s Must Reads

Girl Meets Books

Dirty Girl Romance

Jen’s Reading Obsession

Jackie’s Books ‘n Bags

What’s Better Than Books?

TJ Loves to Read

Curvy and Nerdy

Hot Guys in Books

KT Book Reviews

October 4:

About That Story

Love is a State of Mind

Closet Geeks and Slow Mo

Book Junkiez

Books Are My Friends, Come See Why

Off-Grid-Momma’s Bookshelf

Fire and Ice Book Reviews

Polished Book Worm

Ingrid’s Book Blog

Thoughts of a Blonde

E-Reading After Midnight

October 5:

Cocktails and Books

WTF Are You Reading?

Alathia Paris Morgan

The Reading Café

Those Crazy Book Chicks


The Sassy Bookster

Always Booking

I Love Romance

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Kitty’s Book Spot!

October 6:

Bea’s Book Nook

Kricket’s Chirps Romance Blog

Ever After Book Reviews

Marie’s Tempting Reads

Jenerated Reviews

I’m A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore

A Fortress of Books

Author Liaisons

Sexy Bibliophiles

The Librarian – Blog Talk Radio Authors on the Air – Interview – Listen Live at 7:30 pm ET!

October 7:

Once Upon a Page

Ramblings from this Chick

Southern Yankee Book Reviews

Dog-Eared Daydreams

Oh My Growing TBR


After Dark Book Lovers

Literary, Etc.

Misty’s Book Bin And More

Fiction Fangirls

The Book Quarry

Review: I JUST CAME HERE TO DANCE by Susan Mary Malone

Susan Mary Malone
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: White Bird Publications
Date of Publication: September 15, 2016
Number of Pages: 340


Scroll down for Giveaway!
Paula Anne Fairbanks understands all about the unexamined life. And she likes hers that way—until her world gets ripped smooth apart.
Running from reality, Paula falls under the mythological yarns being spun on Diana Maclean’s porch. Surely Paula’s own choices aren’t to blame for the summer of insanity she spends under the spells of Diana…who is, after all, known as the White Witch of Sociable,  Texas.
I JUST CAME HERE TO DANCE, a modern allegory, waltzes atop the line between the creative and the crazy, the sacred and the maligned. Through myths it weaves together the multi-layers of personal Self with that of the collective whole. And finally, Paula Anne and the townsfolk learn the simplest of truths: that the fire’s ashes produce wisdom and courage, just as the stories say.

     “Malone’s voice is one of the most charming I’ve read.  It brings the story and her characters to life.  I feel like I grew up with Paula right over the hill from the lively little town of Sociable, Texas.”  –New York Times bestselling author M. Leighton
“Susan Mary Malone pens well-crafted characters that are so vivid you can picture them in an award winning movie or television series.” –New York Times bestselling author Mary Honey B Morrison
“. . . a magical story about love ripped apart, a life examined, and then healed.  To be read slowly, to savor as one would a tall cool glass of lemonade, on a hot afternoon, watching the world become new.”  –Ginnie Siena Bivona, author of Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party, made into a Hallmark TV film, Bound by a Secret
Sociable, Texas.  We grow ’em big in Texas.  And this story is no exception.
Paula Ann Fairbanks’s life just changed.  After years of a shell of a marriage, she’s discovered her husband’s infidelity with a childhood friend (small towns are small…LOL).  Now she’s left a bit directionless,  but finds the friendship of the local eccentric, Diana, a great place to start her journey to self-discovery.  As she listens to the stories of the other characters on Diana’s porch, she learns about herself and her place in the world.
Small town, Texas.  Bigger than life characters.  Malone does it right here.  An excellent use of dialect to help her bring these women (and the men as well) to life on the page.
Growing up in Texas, and visiting family in small towns, I knew a few people who reminded me of some of these characters.  Malone has captured the true spirit of the just how BIG (and small) these small town folks truly are!  I recommend this book.


Texas native Susan Mary Malone has published two novels, co-authored four nonfiction books, and written many short stories. Her happiness is fiction, wine, and Labrador Retrievers, the latter of which she raises, trains, and shows. Literature is her love. In addition to writing, she edits; fifty-plus Malone-edited books have sold to traditional publishers, and one of them was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame film (while another is in production, set to be released in 2015). Her stories revolve around the passions and purpose, the myths and meaning of women’s lives. Which often involves wine. She does, however, try to keep the Labradors out of that.





September 26October 5, 2016


Guest Post
Author Interview
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Interview: Catherine Musemeche, MD on HURT: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care

The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care
Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
Genre: Medicine / Medical History
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: ForeEdge
# of pages: 268

The heroic story of the invention of trauma care, from
battlefield triage to level 1 trauma centers
Trauma is a disease of epidemic proportions that preys on the young, killing more Americans up to age thirty-seven than all other afflictions combined. Every year an estimated 2.8 million people are hospitalized for injuries and more than 180,000 people die.
We take for granted that no matter how or where we are injured, someone will call 911 and trained first responders will show up to insert IVs, stop the bleeding, and swiftly deliver us to a hospital staffed by doctors and nurses with the expertise necessary to save our lives. None of this happened on its own.
Told through the eyes of a surgeon who has flown on rescue helicopters, resuscitated patients in trauma centers in Houston and Chicago, and operated on hundreds of trauma victims of all ages, Hurt takes us on a tour of the advancements in injury treatment from the battlefields of the Civil War to the state-of-the-art trauma centers of today.
“Musemeche’s fast-paced medical history mixes the gritty reality of treating life-threatening injuries—including her own heart-pounding experiences as surgeon—with an unfettered optimism about what trauma care can now promise: an assurance that most people will survive even a devastating injury.” —Publishers Weekly
“Hurt is a fascinating journey through the history of trauma care in this country. Musemeche’s unique ability to weave moving, personal stories with intriguing facts takes this book well beyond a great read. It is an education in the human spirit.” —Paul Ruggieri, MD, author of Confessions of a Surgeon and The Cost of Cutting

*Book People* *IndieBound*


How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

As a native Texan I have a free-ranging view of the world and what I’m capable of as a writer.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I started with fiction writing and I was terrible at it. When I started writing nonfiction based on my work as a surgeon the words came easier.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

As a child of the 60’s who grew up in a small town, I looked forward to our  weekly trips to the Orange Public Library in Orange, Texas. Books opened the world to me and taught me that anything was possible.

How long have you been writing?

If you count the Catholic Daughter’s Poetry Contest in the eighth grade, I’ve been writing a long time but I’ve been writing nonfiction seriously for about a decade.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I write medical nonfiction. I have written essays, blog posts and two books.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

I see my job as a writer to take a complicated topic like operating on babies or trauma care and distill it down to concepts any reader can understand and also to illustrate the drama and high stakes involved in medical practice.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

As a woman in medicine I have always felt like an underdog so I look for those underdog heroes throughout medical history, especially women and minorities and include their contributions.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Taking the reader inside the world of medicine for an up close and personal view of critical decisions and procedures.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Writing HURT required a lot of research into the history of trauma care, dating back to the Civil War. I spent a lot of time in The University of Texas libraries, an excellent resource for writers.

            Dr. Catherine Musemeche is a pediatric surgeon, attorney and author who lives in Austin, Texas. She was born and raised in Orange, Texas and attended Lutcher Stark High School. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, The Anderson School of Management in Albuquerque, New Mexico and The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. Dr. Musemeche is a former surgery professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, the MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute and the University of New Mexico where she was the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Trauma. She currently works in the field of regulatory medicine.
             In addition to publishing extensively in the medical literature, Dr. Musemeche has been a guest contributor to the New York Times. Her writing has also been published on,, in the anthology At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die and in the Journal of Creative Nonfiction.  Her first book, Small: Life and Death on the Front Lines of Pediatric Surgery was nominated for the Pen American/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award and was awarded the Writer’s League of Texas Discovery Prize for nonfiction. Her second book, Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care will be published in September of this year.
Check out the other great blogs on the tour!
Guest Post #1
Excerpt #1
Author Interview #1
Guest Post #2
Excerpt #2
Author Interview #2
Guest Post #3
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Guest Post by Marissa Campbell, Author of the AVELYNN Series


As writers, it’s easy to wallow in uncertainty and doubt. Our brains seem hard-wired for this—it’s a creative curse. The road ahead is filled with valleys and peaks. But writing is a marathon, not a sprint. If we commit to this path, we are in it for the long haul. This is an adventure of epic proportions. One in which even The Hero’s Journey would approve.

We embark on this odyssey because we feel compelled to tell a story. Writing is a passion that burns deep in our hearts. To stop the flurry of tapping fingers on the keyboard, or still the sweeping pen in our hands would leave us lost, a gapping hole in our souls. That being said, it’s not an easy journey, but it’s one we must embrace and milk for every ounce of awesomeness we can find. We must not let the fear of rejection, or the fear of failure deter us.

Let me tell you about a recent phone call I received from my local newspaper. The editor/owner has known me for several years, and she had a proposition. In an effort to increase advertising revenue for the paper, for anyone who placed a half-page ad, she wanted me to visit their business, try their services, and then come back and write an article about it—kind of like an advertorial, but different. You see, I’m known around here as the Yes Woman. Why? Because I’m always up for an adventure. No obstacle is too large, no challenge too daunting that I will not at least attempt the journey. I may stumble, I may have to turn back, but rather than give up, I’ll always try to find another way around—unless the adventure involves risk of death… or snakes… or spiders. Seriously, there’s no going around that (shudder).  So, the idea morphed from a simple advertorial into a challenge to see what sort of situation I could get myself involved in and the resulting article about the mayhem.

I could have said, no. But where would that have gotten me? Life is an adventure. We thrive when we live our passions and follow our dreams. As it is with life, so it is with our writing. Even if we stumble across fallen branches, or become mired in a mucky trench in the road, we need to hike up our boots, lean into the wind, and keep on trekking.

My editor and champion at St. Martin’s Press left during the production of Avelynn. That meant when it came time to offer on Avelynn: The Edge of Faith—a new stand-alone historical fiction, and the second book in the series—I no longer had anyone invested in my story, or me as an author. They declined, and I was without a publisher. I could have let that stop the dream, but why would I do that when there are so many other amazing opportunities and options available to writers today? I’m the Yes Woman. Setbacks do not ruffle my feathers; they fuel the wind beneath my wings.

I made the bold decision to self-publish Avelynn because I owed it to readers to continue her story. It was not the easiest path—there were many scary creatures lurking about in the shadows of the unknown—but I am nothing if not stubborn. So, I set out on my noble quest with a brave heart. It was a fascinating journey, filled with wonderful people and sky-scraping towers of knowledge. There were epic battles against Doubt and Rejection, but I vanquished those demons and rose triumphant in the thrilling climax! The first road to publication for Avelynn: The Edge of Faith resulted in a dead end, but I found another way. I kept my passion alive and followed my dream. And thanks to that Yes Woman attitude, the second book in the Avelynn series will be in reader’s hands by the end of September, 2016!  

Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep sending your work out there. Don’t let the spectres of rejection or self-doubt thwart you! Write your heart out. Never give up on the dream.

In gratitude, 

Marissa xo


Avelynn Edge of Faith eBook Cover Amazon Extra Large.jpg

Avelynn: The Edge of Faith
Book two in the Avelynn Series

Now Available!

In a struggle that forces Avelynn to question her faith, her hope, and her
future, Avelynn and Alrik are thrust into the world of ninth century Wales and
must navigate magic, greed, and betrayal while the iron hands of fate threaten
to tear them apart.

Forced to flee England, charges of treason, murder, and witchcraft follow Avelynn into exile.

Arriving in Wales, Alrik and Avelynn find refuge amongst friends of the Welsh nobility. Cast out by his half-brothers, Alrik seeks to regain his honor and earn favor with the gods. When war threatens, Alrik embraces gold and the opportunity for Raven’s Blood’s crew to become mercenaries, aiding the Southern Welsh kings in their fight against Rhodri the Great.

Desperate to return home, Avelynn seeks to find a way to prove her innocence, pitting her against Alrik as their desires for the future clash. With battle looming, Avelynn’s faith in their relationship is further tested through a bitter struggle with Marared, a jealous lover from Alrik’s past. Marared’s threats turn deadly, and Avelynn runs afoul of magic and sorcery, causing her to question her beliefs and role as priestess.

When the very friends Avelynn and Alrik had come to trust betray them, Avelynn is captured and Alrik is charged with regicide. The two become separated, a chasm of greed, deceit, and ambition driving them apart. In an act of harrowing faith, Avelynn will stop at nothing to find her way back to Alrik and break them both free from Wale’s bloodthirsty grasp.

Purchase Now!


Also available, the first book in the series, AVELYNN.

THE LIBRARIAN’s Readers Choice Best Books in Romance pick for BEST BOOK OF 2015



Purchase at all retail outlets including



RB Image 2 Boots Final May 2014.jpg

Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. Her debut historical fiction AVELYNN, was published through St. Martin’s Press, September 2015. Look for the second book in the AVELYNN series, releasing Fall 2016. She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7. When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun!

Find Marissa online at these links:

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Join Marissa as she chats with The Librarian, Thursday at 7:30pm ET at this link.

She will be talking about her new release and Vikings! So be ready to call in with your questions!

One lucky caller will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the new book!

Guest Post by Alexia Gordon, author of Murder in G Major

Murder in G Major
A Gethsemane Brown Mystery
Alexia Gordon

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Suspense / Paranormal
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: September 13, 2016
Number of Pages: 268


Scroll down for Giveaway!

Monkey mind—

According to Wikipedia, “a Buddhist term meaning unsettled, restless, capricious, whimsical, fanciful …” According to me, a term meaning the deluge of ideas for stories I could be writing that invades my brain when I sit down to write the story I should be writing.

My Gethsemane Brown series is set in a fictional modern-day Irish village and stars an African-American classical musician and the ghost of a murdered composer. So, of course, when I take pen in hand or set fingers to keyboard I think,

“Hey, I could write a story set in post-World War Two London about an American hotel guest who teams up with the hotel detective to solve a murder.”


“How about a story set in nineteen-thirties Paris about an American art collector who’s secretly helping Jews escape from the Nazis?”

Or even,

“I know; I’ll write about a woman who has an affair with her brother-in-law then has to prove her husband innocent of his murder.” (That last one’s definitely not a cozy.)

None of which have anything to do with the task at hand: finish the next Gethsemane Brown manuscript.

How do I fight monkey mind? I don’t. Fighting monkey mind makes me anxious to the point of inertia. In the words of the borg, “Resistance is futile.” I’ve learned through experience (and a tip from Chris Baty in No Plot, No Problem) monkey mind must be accommodated. Instead of trying to ignore the flood of brilliant ideas for the next runaway bestseller I scribble the ideas down. I keep several small notebooks and a variety of pens handy. Whenever an idea unrelated to my current manuscript pops into my head I jot the idea in a notebook, take a deep refocusing breath, and get back to work. Acknowledging the intrusion seems to sate whatever dark recess of my brain is playing tricks on me.

As a bonus I have a catalog in case anyone ever asks, “What else have you got?” I can flip to a page in a notebook and say, “I’ve got this great idea about a hotel detective …”

How do you tame monkey mind?

Stranded in Ireland after losing both a gig and her luggage, African-American classical musician Gethsemane Brown hopes to win her way back to the States by accepting a challenge: turn rowdy school boys into a champion orchestra. She’s offered lodging in a beautiful cliffside cottage once owned by her favorite composer. The catch? The composer’s ghost. He can’t rest in peace until he’s cleared of false charges of murder-suicide. Desperate after a quarter-century, he begs Gethsemane for help. A growing friendship with the charming ghost spurs Gethsemane to investigate. Her snooping provokes a long-dormant killer and she soon finds herself on the wrong sort of top ten hit list. Will Gethsemane uncover the truth as she races to prevent a murderous encore or will she star in her own farewell performance?



“Gordon strikes a harmonious chord in this enchanting spellbinder of a mystery.” —Susan M. Boyer, USA Today Bestselling Author of Lowcountry Book Club
“Just when you think you’ve seen everything, here comes Gethsemane Brown, baton in one hand, bourbon in the other. Stranded in an Irish village where she know no one (but they all know her), she’s got just six weeks to turn a rabblesome orchestra into award-winners and solve a decades-old murder to boot. And only a grumpy ghost to help her. There’s charm to spare in this highly original debut.”  — Multi-award-winning author, Catriona McPherson
“Gordon has composed a masterful and magical debut. . .Murder in G Major captivated me from the first page to the last, transporting me to the windswept cliffs of Ireland.”  — Gigi Pandian, USA Today bestselling author of Michelangelo’s Ghost
“Alexia Gordon’s debut is delightful: an Irish village full of characters and secrets, whiskey and music – and a ghost! Gethsemene Brown is a fast-thinking, fast-talking dynamic sleuth (with a great wardrobe) who is more than a match for the unraveling murders and coverups, aided by her various –handsome – allies and her irascible ghost. Can’t wait to see what she uncovers next!” — J. Suzanne Frank, AKA Chloe Green, author of the Dallas O’Connor mysteries 




A writer since childhood, I won my first (okay, so far, only) writing prize, a copy of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, in the 6th grade. I continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. My medical career established, I returned to writing fiction.
Raised in the southeast and schooled in the northeast, I migrated to the southwest after a three-year stint in Alaska reminded me how much I needed sunlight and warm weather. I completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas then moved to El Paso, Texas where I currently practice medicine. If pushed, I will admit Texas brisket is as good as Carolina pulled pork. I enjoy classical music, art, travel, embroidery, and a good ghost story.
I am a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Writers’ League of Texas. I am represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC and published by Henery Press.
ONE WINNER WINS: Signed Copy, Tee Shirt, Coffee Mug, & Tote Bag!


September 20September 29, 2016

Author Interview #1
Guest Post #1
Author Interview #2
Guest Post #2


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Interview: Yvonne Georgina Puig, author of A WIFE OF NOBLE CHARACTER

Yvonne Georgina Puig

Genre: Women‘s Contemporary Fiction
Date of Publication: August 2, 2016
Number of Pages: 320

 Scroll down for Giveaway!

Thirty-year-old Vivienne Cally is wealthy in name only. Orphaned as a child and raised by a cold but regal aunt, Vivienne was taught to rely on her beauty and Texas tradition, and is expected to marry a wealthy and respectable man who will honor the Cally name. Friends with Houston’s richest and most prominent families, she’s a beloved fixture at the social events big and small, and suffers no shortage of access to some of the city’s most eligible bachelors. Preston Duffin has known Vivienne and her set since childhood.  He’s never shared their social aspirations or their status but is liked and respected for his sharp wit and intelligence. About to graduate from a prestigious architecture program, he is both fascinated and repelled by this group of friends he sits on the cusp of. He’s long admired Vivienne’s beauty and grace, but isn’t sure he holds any place in such a traditional life. Intrigued by Preston’s ambitions and the extent to which he challenges the only way of life she’s ever known, Vivienne both courts Preston’s attention, and rebuffs his critiques of her predictable and antiquated priorities and values.

Inspired by Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Yvonne Georgina Puig’s A Wife of Noble Character shares the original novel’s astute social commentary at the same time that it illuminates the trappings and rewards of coming of age that are wholly unique to the twenty-first century. Charming and shrewd at once, this Texas love story takes readers from Houston to Paris and Switzerland and back again, and will speak to both fans of Wharton and anyone who has every struggled to find their way in life.


“A fun take on Edith Wharton’s classic.”—Marie Claire

“A Wife of Noble Character is equal parts wry social commentary and heart-fluttering romance — an insightful journey for both the head and the heart.” —Refinery29

“This sharply drawn novel about Houston’s oil-money elite strikes a beautiful balance—rollicking at times while deeply felt at others.”—

“A compelling and complicated love story…The characters hearken back to Wharton’s while still not feeling like archetypes, and the interior narration matches the introspective style of Wharton’s writing.”—Book Riot

“A Wife of Noble Character possesses something that is intrinsically Houstonian: a sense of humor. . . Apparently, no matter how far you move, Houston sticks with you; Puig has the local milieu down cold.”—Texas Monthly

“In this vivid, socially acute novel of manners set in oil-money Houston society, Yvonne Puig charms us with prose and braces us with insight—a masterful, sharp-eyed and eloquent debut.” —Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint it Black

“A fresh, funny look at what it means to be an adult in the 21st century and a juicy Texan comedy of manners, at its heart, A Wife of Noble Character is a good old fashioned love story.” —Sarah Bird, author of Above the East China Sea

“A Wife of Noble Character is a wildly unique creation: A social novel that is simultaneously classic and utterly modern. I found it sharply insightful, lyrically written, and often laugh-out-loud funny; and could barely put it down until the last page. Puig is a talented satirist and a breathtakingly astute observer of character.”—Janelle Brown, author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything



What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I had fun a lot of fun with the secondary characters—Randal, the wannabe-Texan dermatologist, Kitty, the ex-pat in Paris from Beaumont, and Blad, Vivienne’s close friend, a gay man who grew up in conservative neighborhood in Houston.
How does your book relate to your spiritual life?

It relates deeply to my spiritual life. I believe writing is a spiritual practice. And I believe inner growth must be spiritual if it is going to stick – and that requires ‘walking that lonesome valley by yourself,’ to paraphrase Woody Guthrie. I’m interested in how struggle shapes people spiritually, and I wanted Vivienne, the protagonist, to experience that.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I also teach essay writing at USC. I find the balance challenging because I want to give teaching my all, but I admit that writing is always there in the back of my mind, sort of tapping me on the shoulder.
What do you like to read in your free time?

Novels, psychology books, books about faith.
What book do you wish you could have written?

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers. That book still blows me away and makes my heart ache.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Larry McMurtry and Edith Wharton above all. I’m inspired by McMurtry’s sense of humor and I love Wharton’s sharp eye and wit. Edith Wharton was also such an inspiring and courageous individual, someone who grew so much in her lifetime and remained devoted to her sense of wonder. I could go on and on about both of them.
Who would you cast to play your characters in a movie version of your book?

I would love to see Kathy Bates as Kitty.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I don’t enjoy writing about myself. Never say never—but I can’t imagine writing a memoir.
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

I would love to have a little bit of land to start a garden and create a sanctuary for rescued animals. I would also love to write a book that inspires children — a book that sparks their imaginations and helps them to believe in themselves.


Yvonne Georgina Puig’s fiction and essays have appeared in Salon, Variety, Los Angeles Magazine, and The Texas Observer, among others. She holds a Masters in Professional Writing from USC. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband.



Ends 11PM CST, September 25, 2016
Check out the other blog stops on the tour:
9/14 Video Guest Post 1 Texas Book Lover
9/15 Review My Book Fix Blog
9/16 Author Interview 1 Missus Gonzo
9/17 Excerpt The Page Unbound
9/18 Review Reading By Moonlight
9/19 Guest Post 2 The Crazy Booksellers
9/20 Video Guest Post 3 A Novel Reality
9/21 Review Hall Ways Blog
9/22 Author Interview 2 The Librarian Talks
9/23 Review It’s a Jenn World
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Interview: Romance Author Melanie Scott

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My parents are both teachers, so I learned to read pretty young (I don’t actually remember not being able to). And they always read and my grandparents were readers so maybe it’s all genetic. I was the kid who always had her nose in a book and had to be shooed outside. Where I was big on playing games that involved making stuff up. The first story I remember writing down that wasn’t for school was when I was about eight, so the stories have always been there too.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

I have too many favorite authors! On the romance side of things, when I had just decided to try and write a book and sell it, someone suggested Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation to me and I loved that book and kind of had the “I want to write THAT” moment. Smart, sexy, a bit snarky, but still satisfying emotionally. On the fantasy side, my favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, Robin McKinley, Guy Gavriel Kay and Diana Wynne Jones. Who are all quite different but I think probably write a similar brand of character, which again is one who will use their brains, have a sense of humor and a sense of honor. They also lean toward more emotional fantasy (in different ways). There are fantasy writers who I enjoy but who write a shallower point of view, all about the action and the story and the world rather than the emotions but my favorites get the emotional side down too.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

I think the two most useful lessons for me are that you learn by writing and that every writer does it differently (and that your process for every book will be probably be slightly different too). The least useful type of writing advice is the “this is the one true way” type advice. No. No, it isn’t. What works for one writer will absolutely not work (or be actively damaging) for a lot of others. Anyone giving a craft workshop or writing a book should be forced to put a THIS IS HOW I DO IT, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY disclaimer at the start and stick to that attitude when teaching. I do read craft books and go to conferences and workshops but learned early on that if I tried something and it didn’t work, or wasn’t helpful, or I hated it, then it wasn’t for me and that was okay.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I will and do, read almost anything but I read mostly romance and fantasy but also enjoy crime and science fiction. Occasionally I wander off into other genres. I’m also a stealthy reader of cookbooks and crafty books. I’m a fast reader but have less time for reading than I used to when I wasn’t writing.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Finishing my Four Arts series (at this stage it will be three books), working on some contemporary things I can’t talk about yet, finishing my urban fantasy trilogy then I have an idea for a new romantic fantasy series and a new slightly more futuristic urban fantasy series. Too many books, not enough time!

Do you have any strange writing habits?

I do have a waterproof notepad in my shower because when I’m stuck, that’s often where I seem to get answers. I also write in my head while on long drives. The trouble with that is that I haven’t yet mastered the art of dictation while driving so I don’t always remember it when I get to destination.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

ALL the donuts. Donuts are one of my favourite foods. So I need someone to invent a zero calorie just as tasty version.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Drinking a glass of water backwards (as taught by my grandmother). Which isn’t really backwards but seems to work.

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Here in Australia we don’t have the same Girl Scout cookies but, because I have kind American friends, I can tell you I like Thin Mints and Samoas.

How many times does it take for you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it instead?

I don’t think I ever start to hate songs I love. I might get tired of them and lose that first white hot crush feeling. I listen to music when I write and the muse often wants to listen to one song on repeat for parts of a book. I have songs I’ve listened to hundreds of times while writing a book. I still like them.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention…What do you think cats dream about?

How to evolve opposable thumbs so they can achieve world domination? Or how to manufacture patches of sunlight that stay on their favorite napping spot? In the case of my particular current cat, I’m fairly sure she dreams of a human who never wants to stop giving her belly rubs. She is the most belly rub loving cat I’ve ever known (and never does the weird no-stop-suddenly-I’m-fighting-you-thing while receiving them).

THIS OR THAT? (because The Librarian is just a nosey bugger)

Tea or Coffee? Neither, Coke Zero.

Marvel or DC Comics? Based on the movies, Marvel forever and always.

TexMex or Italian? TexMex.

Fried or Scrambled? Scrambled.

Bond or Bourne? Bond. Too much shaky cam in Bourne.




Melanie Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s.

Her website is

She also writes fantasy and urban fantasy as M.J. Scott (

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PLAYING FAST is Melanie’s Latest Release in the New York Saints Series



When baseball bad-boy Finn Castro raises one eyebrow too many, the Saints send him down to the minors. He’ll have to earn back his major-league dreams with the Saratoga Springs Preachers,. Finn’s certainly never claimed to be a man of the cloth, and cleaning up his act isn’t going to be easy with stunning Eva Harlowe at the heart of the team’s administration.


Eva knows having a crush on Finn is about as sensible as wishing for an eighth day of the week, but seeing the gorgeously muscled player in person melts her resolve. If she’s planning to leave baseball at the end of the season, a hot fling could be a fantasy home run. But when no-strings sex begins to feel like a perfect partnership, will Finn and Eva choose the love of the game or real life together?

Read more about the book and find the buy links here!