Delving into Contemporary Romantic Suspense
1) Let's start with the basics. What's your author name?
2) Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve never been much of a risk-taker. I’m the “play-it-safe” kind of girl, falling in line with the rules and pre-determined expectations… never having the courage to step beyond my comfort zone or do something unexpected. But then the pandemic hit, and my orderly life took a nose-dive.
COVID-19 has impacted the globe in more ways than words can define. I live in Illinois and our state was effectively shut down from about mid-March to mid-June 2020. Like many, I was asked to work remotely – which meant quickly learning how to adapt to teach and advise college students online. The learning curve was tough, but seemingly doable. But here’s what made it impossible.
Daycare closed and I was left with a one-year-old, a two-year-old, and a three-year-old to care for at home… while simultaneously moving my full-time job entirely online. I struggled – a lot. But from that struggle, I found a new part of myself – a piece of my heart that I hadn’t tapped into. And after months of tears and pent-up frustration, I learned a valuable lesson. I learned to give myself permission.
I gave myself permission to step away from the expectations. I gave myself permission to prioritize my needs – and my desires. And most importantly, I gave myself permission to take a risk.
I discovered an outlet to channel my anger, displacing my this isn’t fair attitude into something meaningful. I found storytelling. So, in the middle of lockdown, I took a risk on myself and laid my heart bare to the blank pages in front of me. Every night, I plotted and planned – created and developed characters – and told their story. I’ve never been so bold in my life, trying something new and putting myself out into the world in a new capacity. And within about ten months I found that I had written a 75,000-word contemporary romance novel, signed a contract with Inkspell Publishing, and won an award for my debut novel, I Loved You Yesterday.
3) What is something unique/quirky about you?
I’m ambidextrous! Predominately, I favor my right hand, but there are certain things I can only do left-handed like billiards, shuffleboard, and mini putt. I can bat and or do archery righty or lefty interchangeably!
4) What are some of your pet peeves?
I have two pet peeves that irritate me daily. The first, is when people do not take the time to read written communication and immediately ask a question even though they have the answer right in front of them (says every college professor ever!). My favorite catch phrase in the office is, “slow down and read.” My second pet peeve is when people crack their knuckles. It’s the worst sound in the world.
5) Where were you born and/or where did you grow up?
I’m from Johnsburg, a sleepy farm town in Illinois that’s a stone’s throw from Wisconsin. I’m really just your average Midwestern girl from the Chicago ’burbs. I grew up playing softball in diamonds carved out of cornfields, hanging out with friends in front of raging bonfires, and cultivating a deep (and sometimes embarrassing) love for stories of all kinds. In high school, I was absolutely the girl nose-deep in a book – but now… I get to be the woman writing them.
In 2006, I moved to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois to start my college career and never truly left the classroom. I completed an undergraduate degree in public relations and two master’s degrees in organizational communication and English studies with an emphasis on book history. Illinois State University has been my home away from home for over fifteen years as both a student and working professional. And while it’s easy to poke fun of Central Illinois, my Midwestern roots go deep.
6) What do you do to unwind and relax?
After a busy day, you can always find me with a glass of wine (alright let’s be real, who just has one glass of wine?) and my laptop. Writing is truly my reward after surviving a hectic day at work and parenting three small kids. I enjoy the calm and peace storytelling brings and the solitude of my thoughts.
7) How do you find time to write as a parent?
I have a 5-, 4-, and 3-year-old, so admittedly it can be a challenge! My children typically go to bed between 7:30 and 8:00pm, so once their doors shut, I enjoy “me time” and write until 10:00 or 10:30pm. It’s my favorite time of the day!
And if I’m really feeling ambitious, I’ll set my alarm for about 4:00am on the weekends and get a little writing in then too (but that’s becoming rarer these days!)
8) Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Master mommy multi-tasker
9) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In the fourth grade, I wrote a thrilling tale about some vegetables with heroic aspirations to escape the fridge prison, sparing themselves the unappetizing fate of being simmered in a veggie stew. My creative writing skillset and storytelling abilities won me a classroom Young Authors Award. And to this day, I look back on that blue ribbon knowing that it set the foundation for my future career as an author.
10) Tell us a little bit about your books and where to find them.
I'll Love You Tomorrow
The Trading Heartbeats Trilogy Book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Follow your heart, even if it takes you all the way to Las Vegas.
For precisely $102 dollars, Mitch Benson and Lauren Templeton marry in a 15-minute ceremony inside a little Las Vegas chapel. Soulmates since elementary school, nothing makes more sense than eloping to Sin City for a secret wedding.
But seven years later, the brilliant glare from the city of lights has faded.
Scratch that. The bulbs are burnt out.
In fact, the wiring may have been faulty all along.
Bitterly accepting that their marriage is coming to an end, Mitch and Lauren stray further and further from the love that once blossomed on the playground of their youth.
Lauren sells her soul to Pier Ninety-Two, her once-fabulous restaurant in downtown Los Angeles now a sad shadow in the Saturday night party scene. And Mitch falls into the arms—er, legs—of none other than childhood enemy, Tess Browning.
Devastated by the direction their love has spiraled, Mitch and Lauren make one last trip to the city of second chances, hoping to turn their pennies into the million-dollar love they once shared.
Will their last roll be a miracle—or a mirage—in the desert?
Book Links: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BW7PZHQV
I Love You Today
The Trading Heartbeats Trilogy Book 2
Because when you least expect it… and when you’re least ready for it… love happens.
Casey McDaniels lacked direction, spending the better part of her youth boyfriend hopping, partying, and bartending – her dreams, career ambitions, and education put on the backburner in favor of a social life and steady paycheck… that is, until a new lawyer moves into town.
When sexy, smart, and brokenhearted Austin Templeton relocates from Los Angeles to Chicago, Casey can’t help but put her former lifestyle aside in favor of the sweet romance that erupts between them. Finding more than just her heart set ablaze, Austin’s own professional ambition ignites a fire beneath her – pushing her forward into uncharted territory.
But one thing’s for sure… his career will always come first. When an unexpected promotion threatens to take him back to California, Casey reels, forced to choose between the man who captured her heart and the newfound path to success he led her down.
With her heart torn down the middle, Casey leaves the choice in Austin’s hands. After all, what’s more important? A job… or love?
Book Links: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BG5S1DZQ
I Loved You Yesterday
The Trading Heartbeats Trilogy Book 1
Secrets always have a way of coming out.
Mavis Benson made a huge mistake. Scratch that—colossal mistake. Twice. Sleeping with her high school sweetheart’s twin brother definitely wasn’t part of the plan… nor was falling in love with him.
But that wasn’t the only complication Mavis faced. When an unplanned pregnancy upends her life at seventeen, Mavis skips town to spare her boyfriend, Josh Templeton, from the fallout. With only a letter of apology, she disappears, but not before confiding her secret to Josh’s brother, Austin.
When Austin resurfaces in her life years later, he brings the past to Mavis’s doorstep. Josh wants her back, Austin isn’t willing to surrender, and the path to happiness isn’t clear. Caught between both men, Mavis must choose between the brother for whom she broke her own heart, and the brother who picked up the pieces.
I LOVED YOU YESTERDAY is a heart-pounding reveal of best kept secrets. The truth is never easy, and neither is putting down this page turner. Fans of Nora Roberts and K.G. Fletcher will want to get a copy of I LOVED YOU YESTERDAY.
~Winner of the ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN IN COMMUNICATIONS CLARION AWARD.~
Book Links: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B4WXK73S
11) Giveaway Information:
This is part of the Silver Dagger Tours
The winner will recieve a $20 Amazon