Writer Wednesday: Meet Mysti Parker!

Welcome to Writer Wednesday!

Do we ever have a sweet treat for you today: Mysti Parker, author of romance for every reader’s taste (she had me at chocolate, y’all.). She’s not kidding, either – she’s published fantasy, contemporary, comedy, historical, and erotic romances!

So grab your favorite treat and settle in for a quick bite with Mysti as she shares a bit about herself and her latest release, Mann Cakes.

Which type of romance do you love most, and why?

I enjoy pretty much every type of romance. That’s why I write romance for every reader’s taste. But my favorite stories involve imperfect heroes and heroines that are both strong enough to overcome whatever obstacles are keeping them apart, no matter how many times they stumble along the way.


Name one interesting thing you learned in writing/researching your last book.

Gosh, I love research. It’s easy to get caught up in it, and I’ve learned so many things in the process.

While researching my new book, Mann Cakes, I learned how to make a Molotov cocktail. So, if you ever get the crazy idea to fire bomb something…you don’t know me, okay?


Name two things people don’t know about you.

  1. Everyone knows I’m a chocoholic, but not everyone knows I’m a chocolate snob. Anything that says “chocolate flavored” is NOT chocolate. Give me Godiva or Ghirardelli or even Cadbury, and I’m a happy girl.
  2. My biggest pet peeve is when people don’t put their shopping carts in the corrals. You see, a kitten dies every time you leave your cart out in the parking lot. True story.

What’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?

I’ll have to say Jane Eyre. Such a classic. It got me hooked on the genre.

Who can resist the dark and brooding Mr. Rochester and the plain, yet bold, Jane, as they weather the secrets and revelations of this Gothic love story?


A Bit About Mann Cakes:

Love makes men do desperate things, if desperate things means opening a rival cupcake shop to drive your ex-girlfriend crazy.

Twin brothers and Air Force vets, Tanner and Garrett Mann, return from deployment to find their thriving business burned to the ground. Time for Plan B: Move back to their hometown of Beach Pointe to start over.

But that means running into Paige and Morgan Baxter –gorgeous, curvy, and owners of Two Sisters Cupcakes.

There’s an old diner for sale across town, Garrett’s a great cook, and Tanner has an idea. They’ll make savory cupcakes that men would like. We’re talking bacon and Cheez Whiz. Even better? They’ll call it Mann Cakes. Problem is, they end up attracting an unexpected crowd.

Paige is furious. Every man in her life has left her behind, including Tanner. She’s sacrificed everything for her shop. She won’t lose it over some egotistical ex-boyfriend, even if he does have an Air Force-chiseled body. Her younger sister, Morgan, isn’t helping matters. She’s been gaga over Garrett since high school.

To hell with that. If it’s a fight Tanner wants, it’s a fight he’ll get. But how much is Paige willing to risk to win a cupcake war?

Find Mann Cakes here (release date May 11):

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSHTPYY
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSHTPYY
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XSHTPYY
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B06XSHTPYY

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mann-cakes-mysti-parker/1126051104

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mann-cakes/id1219491854

A Bit About Mysti:

Mysti Parker is an award-winning author and shameless chocoholic. She writes romance for every reader’s taste from super sweet to scandalously spicy. When she’s not writing the next best-story-ever or tackling the endless mountain of laundry, she works as a freelance copywriter and editor. Mysti resides in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband, three children and too many pets.

Want to connect further with Mysti? Find her here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanceforEveryReader/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MystiParker
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Mysti-Parker/e/B0055LOTX8/
Website: http://www.mystiparker.com
Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/k1j5q6

Thanks so much for popping in, Mysti! It was a pleasure to have you.
Now I’m hungry for some cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. Yum! 

Writer Wednesday: Meet Tamara Shoemaker!

Tamara ShoemakerWelcome back to Writer Wednesday! It’s so good to see you all again. You’ve no idea how I treasure our Wednesday meetings, especially when I can bring you someone like Tamara Shoemaker!

Tamara and I are good friends in real life, which is awesome because she’s pretty darn cool – and it shows how writing brings people together, since we met in our local critique group. Wahoo!

Tamara’s got not one, but TWO YA fantasy series she’s penning. Today she’s here to tell us a bit about her and about The Guardian of the Vale, the third book in her Guardian of the Vale series – the series I’ve called The Last Airbender meets Harry Potter. Take it away, Tamara!

Love and journalTypically, in a romance (or in your case, a romantic fantasy), halfway through the story, you’ll have a pretty good idea of who is “supposed” to end up together. You buck this tradition for your Guardian of the Vale trilogy. Why?

Good question. If it helps, I’ll say it’s not my fault. 😉

When I wrote the outline for Mark of Four (the first book in the trilogy), the romantic leads were who I intended to put together by the end of book three. However, as the story progressed, so did the characters.

By the time I wrote Guardian of the Vale, I had created a monster–that is to say: this character that I had created was so very strong, he wouldn’t let me pigeonhole him into the nice, neat portion of the story I had intended for him, and he insisted on becoming the romantic lead.

As much as it messed up my outlines and plans, I kind of liked it. It’s so much easier to write a character who takes the initiative than one who melts like so much flaccid ink onto a page with nary a struggle to be seen. Such a character may moldable, but there’s no depth there.


janeyereWhat type of romance do you love most and why?

I feel very … torn about this question.

Undoubtedly, the type I love the most is the happily-ever-after type where character A meets character B, and, after finally conquering the “problem” that keeps A from B and B from A, they finally declare undying love for one another, and voila, kiss, wedding, the pitter-patter of tiny feet, followed by “The End.”

On the other hand, while I love those, the stories I remember the most–the ones that never leave my head and usually burrow deep into my heart are the ones that are bittersweet, where something of great importance is lost in the struggle for great gain:

  • Gone with the Wind (don’t get me started on how much I dislike the main female lead; why, oh why, do I remember this one so well?)
  • Jane Eyre (sure, they lived happily-ever-after, but only after he was blinded and maimed, and they spent a year and more apart while they learned equal shares of pain) 
  • Redeeming Love (a husband who loves his wife even through adultery and prostitution and any number of times she tries to leave him, and yet. And yet. Oh, that book makes me bawl my eyes out.)

I don’t know if there’s a way to say I love one kind of romance more than the other kind. They both affect me differently, though no less powerfully, I suppose, for those differences.

Continue reading Writer Wednesday: Meet Tamara Shoemaker!

Writer Wednesday: Meet Genie Bernstein!

ggtreesitWoo-wee, people. We had two feet of snow this past weekend. How about you? The good news is, the power never went out, so I had light, heat, and internet! Hallelujah! The bad news, I also had one heck of a virus, and was worried #WriterWednesday might not make an appearance this week, but huzzah, I have rallied in time to bring you writer of romantic intrigue, Genie Bernstein! (Be sure to check out her site and visit her fan page – I love it!)

Read on for a bit about Ms. Bernstein and her first published romance, Act On The Heart!

Which type of romance do you love most, and why?

I love modern day romances that blend past with present and have a dash of intrigue. Love blossoms, hope abounds, and malice festers, just like it does in real life.

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book:

In Act on the Heart, the initials of modern day lovers are carved beside those of a past generation. I thought carvings grew up tree trunks, but not so. Trees grow from their tops. Thank goodness for a sharp editor who told me to check this fact.

Name two things people don’t know about you:

Unless they’ve read my bio, people wouldn’t suspect I landed an airplane whose engine failed, and they wouldn’t peg me as a lap swimmer.

What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?

To use a calendar. It doesn’t matter from what year, but a calendar shores up the structure and gives logic to the story as it unfolds.

What’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?

Jane Eyre – Every emotion you can name is in this sweeping love story, intimately told in first person.

[ML: I love how many romance authors pick Jane Eyre!]

And now, a bit about Act On The Heart

actontheheartAct on the Heart takes its title from the definition of “courage.” As this contemporary love triangle plays out between the glitter of Hollywood and the rolling hills of Georgia, three people are mired in grief and pain. They face the hard choice of walking away, losing everything that matters, or acting on their hearts.

Kathryn Tribble is grieving the loss of her husband and child, and just wants to be left alone…

On the brink of depression, she abandons her New York editing career and flees home to Athens, Georgia, but she’s pursued by major client/celebrity author Joe Butler. He insists she edit his first fiction novel. Kathryn agrees until she reads the manuscript and finds the story mined from her personal misfortune. Her peace is shattered and she is once again pushed to the brink.

Joe, hiding a sham marriage and caring for a seriously ill child, desires much more from Kathryn than her editing skills…

A descendant of Hollywood royalty, he first wrote a biography of his family. His editor, Kathryn recognized his talent and challenged him to write fiction. He creates what promises to be a blockbuster heroine based on the raw courage he admires in Kathryn’s efforts to reclaim her life. His hard work backfires when she refuses to have anything to do with the book – or with him. Heartsick at the pain he has caused, Joe abandons the project. But, his mega-movie-star cousin, Colton Bennett, is determined to make it into a movie. Even worse, Colton becomes infatuated with Kathryn, convinced in his world of make believe, he can anchor himself to reality by making her his wife.

Interested? Find Act on the Heart here!

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011ZBK1OM

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/act-on-the-heart-genie-smith-bernstein/1122431641?ean=9781626943070

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/561430

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/act-on-the-heart

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-actontheheart-1870122-149.html

BOB: http://www.blackopalbooks.com/shop-our-store/blackopalstore/act-on-the-heart

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/274119213/Act-on-the-Heart

writingGenie Smith Bernstein began writing by falling out of the sky. She was unable to talk about the trauma of landing an airplane whose engine failed until she captured her feelings about the experience on paper. From that exercise came her ability to infuse writing with emotion, which led her to the romance genre.

Bernstein is beginning her sixth year as a featured columnist for Georgia Connector, Georgia’s premier regional quarterly magazine. Her short story “Southern Hospitality” won South Carolina’s Carrie McCray Literary Award for Non-Fiction. Four volumes of “O, Georgia!” anthologies of Georgia’s most promising writers, included her stories.

Originally from Eatonton, Georgia, Genie writes with the authority and authenticity of a southerner. Swimming to keep fit, she makes her home in Athens, Georgia, and shares with her husband their joyously combined family of six children and fourteen globe-trotting grandchildren.

Act on the Heart is Genie Smith Bernstein’s first novel of romantic intrigue. An exploration of relationships defined by courage, it was published by Black Opal Books, Inc., and released August 1, 2015. Her works in progress include a contentious, mystery-solving couple who fall in love, and a children’s book about acceptance.

Thank you so much for joining us, Genie! It was a pleasure getting to know a bit about you!