So, Yeah. She’s a Rockstar…Megan Hart!

Over the last two weeks I’ve chewed on idea after idea of what I wanted to say for this month’s Author Spotlight submission. I pulled all her books off the shelves in my office. Those heart crushing, lovely works by Megan Hart. I opened the closet and tugged those out too. Seventeen trade paperback books were scattered over the floor. I sat in the middle and stared. The proper thing to do, obviously, is to detail the novels and give my two cents as to why each book is wonderful. And then…and then I picked up the one. The book that started it all.

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It was 2009 and I had come on shift at the hospital. A good friend and I had been sharing books for several months. She liked books with alpha males and I liked books with awkward love triangles. I recall my reaction when she set the book on the nurse’s station desk. The colors. The pale turquoise bleeding into slightly darker shadows of sea blue-green. The ocean was taking them. It was bleeding them, she holding on for life and he seemed to be content to take her under. The white elegant script. One word. A word that changed my view of romance forever. Deeper.

I devoured this novel. It exhausted me. Made my chest ache and my stomach hurt. My nerves frazzled with each turn of the page. Would she pick the tragic soul of her long lost love? Would she look to the reality of a stable future with a man who could offer a real life? I had to read. I sat in my car after work for an hour and continued to read. I read when I got home. I read while making dinner. I read. I read. Then I ran to Barnes and Noble and pulled the spines from the shelf and went deeper. I was content to drown in the melodically haunting words of Ms. Hart.

Broken let me know it was okay to be human. We are all broken and in that we are inherently lovely. You see, Ms. Hart’s books aren’t about a happily ever after. Oh no. They’re about standing beside your soul in front of a mirror. Squinting your eyes and wondering who is that mist? Then, with a curious wisdom, you slip it back inside and somehow feel different, more fractured, and in some way, more whole. Broken fractured me and Tempted made me feel whole.

I had written Gilded Lily in 2007, then it was titled Surrendering Lily. I had no intention of doing a damn thing with it. It was written as a way to cope with the grief over losing my beloved grandmother. I had read one erotic romance novel before I wrote that book, never had been interested in reading romance before that. After reading Deeper, I knew I was still that little nine year old girl who’d written the story about the neighbor woman who’d taken the soul of her best friend’s daughter because she’d lost her own daughter. It was a thriller my dad had been so excited to read.

I was still that nine year old young lady who could write. I was capable of telling a story.

It’s okay to be a writer. It’s okay to tell the difficult stories. Megan Hart, through her books, let me know I didn’t have to have an alpha male. I didn’t have to have a mated vampire falling for his long lost bride. I could write multiple contemporary genres and stand in front of that mirror and be proud of my soul because she told me I can write that story.

And I did.

I had the pleasure of meeting this rock god of the written word at RT in New Orleans several years ago. The privilege of talking with her was immense. She was kind, welcoming, and funny as hell. If any of you follow her on Facebook you know her quirky ways are endearing and fully entertaining. From her change of hair color to her witty Vine videos, she’s a true creative machine.

Her talent far expands romance. She delves into horror, suspense, and thrillers. Precious and Fragile Things stayed with me for months. I couldn’t read another book until my mind cleared of the images in my head. I follow her playlists for the books and that list tore me up. Hallelujah by Jason Manns. I’m playing that song right now and it gives me chills. I can still see that young man sitting at the kitchen table in that cabin. Her cutting his hair…and now I’m crying again.

This is what an author does. We transform your emotions. We take you to the brink, show you the edge, nudge  your toes to the cliff, then pull you back in and tuck you into bed. We tell you everything is going to be okay…until it’s not. We make no promises and promise to guide you through the darkness and celebrate when you walk into the light. But, we can’t promise that either. Hell, we can’t promise up isn’t down. Because in our world everything is possible. But, we can promise we will take you deeper, mend what has made you broken, keep you tempted to walk in the shadows, and praise you because you are made up of precious and fragile things.

Thank you, Megan Hart, for always answering my Facebook messages, talking to me when I met you, inspiring me to be proud that I’m a writer, allowing me to be brave when I tell my stories. You are a fucking rockstar!

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Megan was nice enough to take the time to answer ten questions that I know you’ll enjoy!

  1. Do the seasons affect your creativity? no (I write all year long and though I like to take the summer “off” I don’t, really)
  2. Is there any day you refuse to write on? yes (my birthday)
  3. I know you love music. Which song is playing on repeat in your headphones? Keep Yourself Warm by Frightened Rabbit
  4. If you could to live anywhere in the world where would you choose? anywhere by the ocean
  5. Sexiest place to be found with a hot guy sporting a killer six pack? — dance floor
  6. Which of your books do you feel most connected to? — Tear You Apart
  7. 50 Shades of Grey or Story of O? — Neither
  8. Have you ever been ghost hunting? — not officially
  9. You’re stranded with Bradley Cooper. Where would you two be? — somewhere I could get someplace else, fast!
  10. Average time from concept to publication? — varies so widely, but generally a year or so

 

Bonus question!

What is your current work in progress? I’m about to start two interconnected books (romance with a mystery back story) for Montlake!

Leave a comment with your email address to register to win a free digital copy of your choice in Megan’s backlist!

Want to find this rockstar? Click on the links to get to know Ms. Hart.

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1Kmsmz3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Megan_Hart

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1PBiD6X

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XuyuHk

http://meganhart.com/

AllRomanceebooks: http://bit.ly/246DfeG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romance on a Budget

 

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The day of love is quickly approaching. Valentine’s Day holds a special meaning in my heart because my wedding anniversary is on the 12th of February and we celebrate on the 14th. This romantic day doesn’t need to be filled with lavish vacations and expensive nights in a fancy hotel. There doesn’t need to be a wallet busting dinner to be followed by two dozen roses. Cupid is here to gently remind us that we need to slow down and take time for the ones we love. Today I’m suggesting ideas for an affordable, sexy, and fun day that will inspire couples to remember that romance can be experienced everyday without breaking the bank.

First, know your partner’s interests. If you’ve purchased flowers in the past and they sat on the counter to wilt with no attention then you can check that gift off the list. If your significant other is keeping to his/her New Year’s resolution and eating healthy, don’t sabotage their progress by stuffing a box of chocolates under their nose. Lingerie is nice, but let’s think outside the box.

These suggestions vary from free to $50. Intimacy is the goal for your special day. Two people, joined together, to take on the world. Activities to touch on this would be a cooking class scheduled for the evening. Does she like to dance? Salsa or swing dancing is popular and an evening holding each other and shimming to the groove is a perfect way to get the blood pumping for a sexy night. A murder-mystery dinner would be a great time. A night of wine and canvas would let you show your partner your creativity. Paint him a personalized picture while laughing and enjoying a lovely glass of wine. If you’re a beer or wine enthusiast maybe touring your local winery or brewery would be a nice suggestion then hit a little diner on the way home.

Love is free and so are the sexiest activities for Valentine’s Day. Remember the special tokens of devotion that make your partner feel extra special. Send sexy texts while your lover is at work. Drive him/her crazy with naughty talk and the occasional picture. Even sending a sweet smile showing you’re thinking about your partner is a great way to make the day special and built excitement for a romantic evening. For those of you who like to have fun, making a tent in the living room and having a movie night are cozy and cheap. Line up a couple of sexy movies like 9 1/2 weeks or 50 Shades of Grey to get the mood going.

I love a hot bubble bath. Taking a bath for two, if you have a large tub, can be relaxing and intimate. If your bath tub is made for a single person that can be perfect. Devote time to making your partner’s bath sensual and exciting. Light candles, play soft music, use olive oil or vitamin E oil to massage their shoulders and neck. Let them soak while you pamper them for twenty minutes. Making your partner feel special is the goal. Trade spots and let your partner give you the same romantic treatment then it’s off to bed.

Having a fun adventure at a flea market or antique store can be followed by a stop at your favorite coffee shop for a hot cup of Joe and share your favorite muffin. To explore the naughtier side of the holiday open your minds to exploring your fantasies. Try a blindfold and tease your partner with different sensations and they have to guess the item. You don’t have to pull out the flogger and crop to have a little fun with the BDSM concept. A loose necktie around the wrists never hurt anyone. If kissing and roaming your hands all over your partner’s body sounds like a great time, how about you do it in a semi-public place? Take your passion to the edge and keep your lover on her toes.

I hope you enjoy trying these ideas for a romantic and sexy Valentine’s Day while not breaking your wallet. This holiday doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune on flowers that will wilt or lingerie that will only be worn for the five minutes it takes for your partner to rip it off your body. What’s better than a pretty bra and panties? Wait for your boyfriend or husband at the dining room table in your birthday suit! No matter which gift or exciting adventure you decide to have, make it intimate and a reminder that you two love each other more each day.

Happy hearts and kisses!