A hearty hello to Melissa Keir, my guest today.
Thank you Anna for having me on your blog . I’m so excited to share my stories with your readers. I hope they will sit back and get to know me and the books I write.
I’m a mother and wife in a blended family. Sometimes our house is a lot like the Brady Bunch with his kids and mine. It was more chaotic when the kids were younger. Now that they are almost all adults, we are enjoying the playful barks of our furry kids, Grissom and Calleigh.
Sounds like a happy household. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
I don’t know that I would call them all careers. When I first moved to Michigan, I worked in retail. I’ve sold very expensive stuffed animals, high-end women’s career clothes and even furniture. The hours and pay were certainly limiting. Of course, I’ve been a stay at home mom, raising my children. That job, while the pay and hours were a lot like retail, had so many wonderful blessings. I loved being with my children each day. For the last twenty years, I’ve taught elementary students in every grade from preschool to sixth grade. Each grade has a lot to love about it, from the innocence of childhood to the satisfaction of seeing a child succeed.
As a former educator myself, I can relate. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would love to live on a very private lake surrounded by tall pines and a stream filling the lake. The weather would be moderately warm with some change to the weather through the year. Our home would be a three-bedroom ranch home with acreage for room to roam for walks during the evenings. This place only exists in my mind for now but maybe someday I’ll have the perfect place to live.
Lovely! Hope it becomes a reality. How did you get started writing?
I am a voracious reader. My husband was frustrated with the constant book turn-around in our home. Our bill to Amazon was outrageous. He wished I’d find a job in the book industry! Luckily, I got my start with a small book review company. I read over 250 books during six months with them. But after reading so many books, I decided to give writing a try. I’d already written for an online blog and musings about life and relationships…so the next step wasn’t too scary. My first short novella was picked up for an anthology and the writing bug was born in me!
What genre do you write in?
Currently, I write in contemporary romance and contemporary erotic romance. I love to write stories with characters who you’d meet at work or on the street. I love my hometown and share it with readers as the setting for one of my recent series. Eventually I may branch out and write more science fiction/fantasy or paranormal stories but I haven’t stepped into that pond yet.
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve written six novellas and one flash fiction piece for an anthology. Having a favorite is like asking a parent if they have a favorite child. Each story is wonderful in its own way. I love my latest release Three’s A Crowd because the characters of Lissa and Alex speak to my heart as they try to find a balance in a blended family. However, the story that stays with me each time I read it is A Christmas Accident. This is a tearjerker story of faith and love. Those are important themes for Christmas.
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
I love to include names of people that I know in my stories. Some of my children’s names are in books, as well as friends’ names or my students’ names. Beyond the names of my characters, it is rare to find yourself in my book. I usually take incidents that happen but not the characters or people into my stories. Once I had a great laugh with that. In Second Time’s the Charm, I had my hero’s ex-wife looking like Angelina Jolie and the heroine’s best friend. Honestly, I would rather kiss a rattler than have anything to do with my husband’s ex-wife. We disagree on so many things. So as you can see, I don’t take people but situations.
Do you have a view in your writing space?
Prior to this month, I didn’t have my own writing space. I hung out in my bed with the dogs or on the couch to write. I was always surrounded by the hum of my family. It was jarring and distracting at times. But my step-son moved out and I finally got my own space! Squee! I got to put a desk in the room and decorate it. While it doesn’t have a view of anything but the wall, I’ve put up a plaque I received for my first sale and copies of my covers. I’m in heaven with this small piece of my own where I can go to write, mediate or do my work!
Do you write under a pen name?
I actually write under my own married name. I decided that I wanted to have a name that was easy to remember and I was proud of my husband’s name. His family has been super supportive. I also figure that if I get really famous, I will decide about a different name but I’m happy with it.
Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
The most rewarding thing about being a published author is receiving notes from readers or reviewers that tell you that your book touched their heart or stayed with them. I appreciate all the people who’ve read my book and hope that they have enjoyed them. It is my motivation for why I write. I want to share my stories with others and make them happy for a small part of time.
Where can readers find you?
Readers can find me on my webpage and blog at http://www.melissakeir.com and http://www.melissakeir.com/blog.html. I’m also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/melissaakeir and http://www.facebook.com/authormelissakeir.
I’m on twitter- @melissa_keir, Amazon, Goodreads and LinkedIn. I love connecting with readers and other authors. So reach out to chat!
Where can readers find your books?
My books are available on B&N and Amazon as well as All Romance Books and a few other sites. Since my books are all novellas, they are ideal for e-readers where the book can be read in a short period of time. Currently, all my books are only available in E-book format.
Thank you again Anna for sharing your blog with me. I hope that your readers will stop by my site and chat with me. I love hearing from other book fans like myself.
Here is a blurb and excerpt for Three’s A Crowd.
For Lissa, the second time at love was a charm but in marriage, three’s a crowd.
Single mother Lissa Vincent found her soul mate in her best friend’s ex-husband. Alex Hunter couldn’t believe his fortune when his ex-wife told him her best friend was available. After divorce, finding love again could be a challenge but it appeared Alex and Lissa had gotten lucky. Yet as they start their lives as newlyweds, Alex and Lissa don’t realize just how difficult it might be to blend a family.
When Alex’s ex new marriage begins to unravel, she sets her sights again on Alex. Does Alex still have feelings for the mother of his child? Will Lissa keep her best friend or lose her husband?
Fairytales promise a happily-ever-after. But what really happens after the after.
Sipping a glass of ice water while I waited, I looked forward to seeing Chloe. We’d been co-workers and friends for years.
When Chloe walks in, I watch as all the men’s heads turn to stare as she approached our table. Her beauty always drew gazes and left me feeling like a weed planted next to a stunning flower.
After Chloe and I make a bit of small talk and order, I ask the question I’ve been dying to ask since I ended our phone call. “What is going on, Chloe? What can I do to help?”
“Mike’s quit his job at the college and decided to open his own catering business and the stress of having no money coming in is taking its toll on us. All we do is fight. I can’t stand that I have no say in how our money is spent. Would you believe he bought a delivery truck for his business but hasn’t even gotten the brakes fixed on my car?”
“I’m sorry, Chloe. What does Mike say when you talk to him about this?”
“He really doesn’t understand. He has stars in his eyes about what the future holds and can’t see what’s happening right in front of his face. My salary is the only thing paying the bills. With the way Mike’s spending money, it’s going out as fast as it’s coming in. You know, Lissa. You’re so lucky to have Alex. He’s a wonderful provider. What I wouldn’t give to have him back in my life.”
Ouch. Chloe’s words hurt. I knew Alex was a wonderful husband, but he was mine now. Was she really indicating she wanted him back?
“Alex is a fabulous husband, father, and friend. I’m lucky to be his wife.” Needing to establish my territory, I made sure to point out Alex was mine.
“Yes, he is. I’d give anything to have him back. Just to make it clear, if you ever hurt him or let him go, I’m going to be right there to pick up the pieces. After all, we have a child together. We’ll always be in each other’s lives.”
“Well, Alex is very happy and I’ll do anything to keep him that way.”
The rest of lunch passed in a blur. I couldn’t keep my mind off her ultimatum. Maybe Chloe was just reacting to all the problems in her own marriage by lashing out at me. I was willing to give her the benefit of doubt. However, all I wanted to do was to escape the original lunch from hell and get home to Alex to reassure myself of his love. For me.