Saturday, April 13, 2013

Picnic Time!

My best friend is flying into town this weekend for a “girls weekend”. I haven’t seen Kelli in a few years and I’m looking forward to cutting loose and taking some road trips.

Our friendship began twelve years ago, when I was the new girl at the company we both worked for.  Kelli’s department was down the hall from mine and one day she sent me an email with a list of “getting to know you questions”, ranging from do you have tattoos?  to what kind of music do you like? It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and I often refer to Kelli as my unbiological sister.
Harlequin® American Romance® is about family, friends and community and in my debut release, BETTING ON TEXAS, there is a 4th of July picnic scene where the entire town gathers to meet Double Trouble’s new owner, Miranda Archer.  She’s the new kid on the block, completely out of her element, not unlike I was during my first year as a newbie author. The annual picnic is a place where people can relax and spend time with their friends and neighbors.

My readers are part of my extended family and I love learning about the people reading what I poured my heart and soul into.  To me, the reader/author relationship is very similar to a community picnic…we’re all gathered together and I’m sitting in the middle telling the stories.

Spring's here and it's pretty warm down here in the south. Join me for a month long, community picnic so we can get to know each other better.   Who’s up for the Question Game?

Choose one…choose them all…ask anything back!

  • What’s something most people don’t know about you?
  • What is the scariest movie you ever saw?
  • If you were marooned on an island with a single person, who would you want it to be?
  • Do you have any hidden talents?
  • What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
  • What is your favorite body part?
  • What sound do you love the most?
  • If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
  • If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
  • If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
  • If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
  • When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
  • What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or get weepy?
  • What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to?
  • What do you miss most about being a kid?

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of BETTING ON TEXAS so you can see how Miranda made out at her first community picnic.
Amanda Renee
Betting on Texas (March 2013)
Home to the Cowboy (August 2013)
Legacy of a Lone Star (Early 2014)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Coming Home

When my husband and I finally returned to central Florida after twenty years of moving about the country, I have to admit, I envisioned the whole town turning out to greet us. 

I quickly squelched such utterly foolish ideas.  I'd settle for a banner strung across the front door, I told myself.

I could practically taste my mom's fried chicken and the made-from-scratch banana pudding she'd serve for dessert.  I imagined Dad taking the tarp off the old Chevy I'd left in the barn.  By the time I got home, he'd have it road-worthy again.

But once again, I'd let my imagination get away from me. 

In the first place, there was no barn.  No Chevy, either.  And since Mom had spent five of the last twenty years moving from place-to-place with my family, if I wanted my favorite meal, I'd have to fix it myself.  Or, more likely, pick it up at the grocery store.

Once reality sunk in, I realized that coming home is rarely what we imagine.  In my mind, everything I'd left behind had stayed the same while I was "out there" exploring the great big world (or moving from one mundane job to another).  But my parents, sister, cousins and friends hadn't exactly been sitting around waiting for me.  They'd moved on with their lives, too.  I didn't fit as neatly back into the scheme of things as I thought I would.  I had some adjusting to do.

In the Rancher's Homecoming series, the next three books I'm writing for Harlequin American, Seth and Doris's five sons come back home to the Circle P, the setting for Rancher's Son

But, they make many of the same discoveries I made when I finally moved back "home." 
Things are different on the ranch they left behind.  There's a new cook in the kitchen and, not only does she make a mean fried chicken, she looks mighty fine while she's doing it.  The neighbor's daughter, the one all the boys loved to tease so much, has exchanged her tomboy looks for quiet sophistication.  The nearby town has grown, and the owner of the new music store on the corner has every cowboy within fifty miles strumming a guitar.
Yes, things have changed.  And I'm having a lot of fun seeing how these rugged ranchers react to the changes that have taken place on the Circle P in the years they've been away.  I hope you will, too, when the Rancher's Homecoming series reaches store shelves next year.  

Tuesday, April 09, 2013



You’re the March winner of two American Romance books. Please contact C.J. Carmichael and Roxann Delaney through their Websites to receive your books.

To enter the contest simply leave a blog comment and your name will go into the drawing. Who doesn't love FREE BOOKS?

Sunday, April 07, 2013

My Favorite Heroes

Heroes. They make us laugh. They make us cry. They make us fall in love with them. It doesn't seem to matter if they're bad boys that need redeeming or knights with gleaming armor.
Or does it?
We're celebrating the cowboy hero these days--that uniquely American white knight. Our ideal of a man's man that women can't resist. Whether he's spare with words or a smooth-talker, the heroines find him fascinating. As do readers and writers.
So, I'm wondering, do readers have a preference? Here's a list of some heroes I've loved in the past, and you can think of some more, I'm sure. I'd love to hear feedback from you.

actor, architect, artist, athlete (professional), bartender, boy next door, businessmen, chef, computer/software designer, construction worker, cop/sheriff/deputy, cowboy, doctor, farmer, firefighter, geologist, handyman, lawyer, mechanic, military, salesman, scientist, teacher, vet, zookeeper (couldn't resist making it stretch A-Z)

This is just a quick, top of my head list, certainly not intended to be all-inclusive.  Please chime in with your favorites, adding yours if not listed here.
And if you don't think his job matters all that much, I'd like to know that too.

Megan Kelly