writing

Author Interview with RelationshipsAreComplicated.com

I love to write complicated relationships, and the lovely folks at Relationships Are Complicated interviewed me about my characters’ bonds HERE. I mention my sports romance and romantic suspense novels, as well as some past dating complications. 😀

Image by Juan Fernando Yeckle from Pixabay

Do you have relationship questions? Check out https://www.relationshipsarecomplicated.com !

insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG Writing in the New Year

Happy 2022, insecure writers!! I love our founder Alex Cavanaugh’s inspiring message about the new year:

“We all know it’s been creatively challenging the past two years. Some managed to write like maniacs, but a good portion of us were sidelined by events wrought with turmoil and uncertainty.

But 2022 can be different. We can take control of our own creative future. We need to maintain hope. Without it, we won’t make it. We need to feed that spark of hope. That creative spark! That’s our wheelhouse.

So, we need to believe in ourselves. Believe in the words we write. And believe 2022 is our year!”

Join us here.

Thank you to our competent co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

January 5 question – What’s the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

I regret not knowing more about the craft of writing before my first novel was published. Though I still feel a fondness for the characters of my first novel, adverb abuse, head-hopping, and bloated prose hurt the writing quality.

I have tried to overcome this regret by learning more about the craft through reading, studying writing, and working with my critique partner and editor. It felt great to edit my debut novel to reduce my cringe reactions.

Cheers to a healthy, happy 2022!

insecure writers support group, writing

IWSG Stresses and Delights

Hello, you COVID-weary writers. Join us for the Insecure Writers Support Group, created by Alex Cavanaugh. It’s a beacon of encouragement for writers everywhere.

Thank you to this month’s wonderful co-hosts: PJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray!

This month’s question: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

What stresses me the most is the extended path toward finishing a novel. I’m rather impatient, and I wish writing didn’t take so long. I’ve never been one to whip through a crappy first draft without editing as I write. I guess the hundreds of hours that go into a novel make it all the more satisfying when it’s done.

Image by  Jan Vašek from Pixabay

What delights me? Readers identifying aspects of the story I hadn’t planned or considered. The first story I wrote, Bad Blood, was about one man betraying another. At the end, the hero fought for his life after being poisoned in his prison cell. It wasn’t till a reader commented about his poisoned blood representing the title that I saw the unintentional connection.

Image by Harmony Lawrence from Pixabay

What stresses or delights you as a writer?

~*~

I need to make an appetizer for our upcoming holiday book club. Do you have a favorite Christmas recipe? Here’s a delightful one from my friend, Chelsi:

Brussel Sprout Salad

1 pound Brussel sprouts (thinly sliced – “shredded” – I find them at Trader Joe’s)

Dried cranberries – a few handfuls

Chopped pecans (pan toasted) – a few handfuls

Diced, cooked bacon – about 5 slices

Shaved parmesan – almost a whole tub. Mix most in and then sprinkle the bigger, prettier shavings on top

Dressing –

1/3 cup olive oil

Thinly sliced shallots – 2 small

Fry the shallots in the oil until they’re crisped, then stir in the rest of the ingredients (2 TBSP apple butter or fig preserves, 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper) and let marinate for a bit

Toss everything in a bowl

insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG Blurbs, Titles, and Covers Oh My!

Happy November to all insecure writers everywhere. Join us here, and thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for creating and sustaining this writer community.

Kudos to the co-hosts for November: Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery!

This month’s question:
What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

Eek, I’m getting the shakes from this question. I thought Halloween was over? Both tasks can bring a writer to her knees, but I have to choose creating titles as more difficult.

Blurbs kick my butt at first, but after scuffling with the sentences, my critique partner and editor always help turn the blurbs into something coherent and catchy. (Whether or not the blurbs are appealing enough to make readers want to buy my books is another matter.)

Titles, though? I’ve ridden the struggle bus drumming up titles for at least four of my nine novels.

The toughest title was for my swimming military murder mystery romance published in 2012. (Maybe covering 11 genres in one novel was the start of the problem?) The initial title was Swimming Against the Tide, then Against the Tide. However, when it came time to publish, both titles seemed cheesy.

My hero faced countless obstacles, including an abusive father, and he had a talent for exploding off the walls on his flip turns. I suggested the swimming term, Streamline, to signify a tight body position allowing him to slice through even the roughest waters.

My publisher thought “streamline” evoked a corporate takeover more than a new adult sports romance. She was probably right. But, I couldn’t think of another damn title! So we went with it.

In addition to blurbs and titles, I want to add another TOUGH task of publishing: creating a book cover. I’ve had countless back-and-forth convos with book designers over the years. My publisher grappled with the cover concept for Streamline, but I love the design they landed on, representing an underwater kiss scene from the book. Still, I wanted the image of the characters to be bigger.

Streamline by Jennifer Lane

How about you? Which writing task gives you the willies the most?

giveaway, new release

What the Trees Know 5-Star Review

Congratulations to my pub sister, NANCEE CAIN, on the release of her TENTH novel!

Title: What the Trees Know
Author: Nancee Cain
Genre: Magical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 23, 2021
Cover Design: Gina Dickerson of RoseWolf Design



What the Trees Know by Nancee Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No Need to Tell the Trees, But Do Tell the Bees

Nancee Cain sure knows how to write stories with Southern charm. Instead of an Alabama setting, this book takes place in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina — lush and enchanting with herbal remedies and magical spells.

The story begins when Queenie, a kind, eccentric woman, takes in Skylar, a homeless young girl who just survived a trauma. Queenie is already caring for another child (Jed, her grandson) whose parents died. Skylar and Jed forge a tight bond, growing up playing and exploring with a neighbor boy, Caleb.

Fast forward years later and Skylar is caring for the aging Queenie. Though Caleb is a good friend to Skylar, she has missed Jed since he absconded to the Army. Skylar summons Jed back to their home to find that their childhood friendship has morphed into adult romance, much to the dismay of Caleb. Too bad Skylar feels unworthy, and Jed is mired in PTSD.

To help them through their turmoil, Skylar and Jed will need Queenie’s bedtime saying:

“Day is over; night has come. Today is gone; what’s done is done. Embrace your dreams, through the night; tomorrow comes with a whole new night.”

The narrative builds to an exciting climax including fire, poison, and sacrifice. Someone will need to tell the bees that one life ends and another begins.

View all my reviews



The trees shiver. They know, too. They always do.






Nancee is a retired addiction counselor & nurse who worked to support her coffee and reading habit. A terrible insomniac, her nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. She puts the fun in dysfunctional and is a known book hoarder.


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insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG Drawing the Line

Join us HERE, the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Jemima Pitt, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

Hope your October is off to a great start, writers! Warm weather has continued in Ohio, allowing me to sneak in some outdoor swims late in the season. Friends and I swam in a local quarry last week, and the 72-degree water temperature was brisk but invigorating.

Sadly, I had to cancel a swim vacation in Baja, Mexico. We planned to glamp and swim 2-4 miles a day in the Pacific, but international travel didn’t seem wise in the throes of the never-ending pandemic. But maybe I’ll fulfill my dream of swimming in Spain next year instead.

This month’s question: In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

I rely on my reading preferences to draw the line in my writing. I enjoy reading creative curse words and healing from horrific traumas. Therefore, my characters sometimes swear like sailors, and I embrace the challenge of delving into the aftermath of sexual trauma or criminal violence in my sport romance and romantic suspense novels.

Though romance is my favorite genre, I don’t enjoy reading plentiful, graphic sex scenes. It’s no surprise that I avoid writing erotica.

I also value free speech. While I don’t want to offend readers, I hope to stay true to myself without worrying about political correctness.

new release

WHAT THE TREES KNOW Book Tour

Title: What the Trees Know
Author: Nancee Cain
Genre: Magical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 23, 2021
Cover Design: Gina Dickerson of RoseWolf Design


Is magic real?

Jed doesn’t think so. Forced to live with his grandmother after the death of his parents, he’s mad at the world. He doesn’t believe in God, much less the folk magic his grandmother practices in the isolated mountains of Appalachia. He doesn’t fit in, and anger simmers within him, ready to explode.

Then Skylar arrives—a girl who’s experienced evil firsthand. Though lost in silence, she forges a connection with Jed, his grandmother, and the neighbors who come for potions and spells. Even without a voice, she embraces her new life.

Eventually Jed flees, but not for the right reasons. And his insides still burn with rage, leaving him hollow and even more unhappy—until the day he feels compelled to return home.

Skylar understands why Jed has returned. It has nothing to do with her summoning spell. He’s come home to heal. She’s known for being a healer and can consume his sins so he can find peace. But the only way she knows how requires death…

The trees shiver. They know, too. They always do.






Nancee is a retired addiction counselor & nurse who worked to support her coffee and reading habit. A terrible insomniac, her nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. She puts the fun in dysfunctional and is a known book hoarder.


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giveaway

September to Remember Giveaway

Thank you to The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island for hosting!

While the shortening daylight and outdoor pool closures sadden me, I am excited for cooler walking temperatures in September.

What are you looking forward to this September?

I’m giving away a $10 gift card and an audiobook (US or UK) and ebook (international) of my latest release, sports romance Rivals.

She’s a Buckeye. He’s a Wolverine. It’s a romance with balls.
a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hop over to these participating blogs to win more stuff!

insecure writers support group, writing

Writing Success #IWSG

Created by Alex Cavanaugh, join us here.

Many thanks to the cream-of-the-crop co-hosts for September: Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!

This month’s question:

How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

For me, this image speaks to the essence of writing success:

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay 

It’s the pure joy of your words capturing an idea and connecting with a reader. When your words elicit deep emotion from readers, you’ve made it.

How do you define success?

cover reveal, new release

Cover Reveal: WHAT THE TREES KNOW by Nancee Cain

Congratulations to my pub sister, Nancee Cain, on her latest release! Can’t wait to read this magical realism story.

Title: What the Trees Know
Author: Nancee Cain
Genre: Magical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 23, 2021
Cover Design: Gina Dickerson of RoseWolf Design



Is magic real?

Jed doesn’t think so. Forced to live with his grandmother after the death of his parents, he’s mad at the world. He doesn’t believe in God, much less the folk magic his grandmother practices in the isolated mountains of Appalachia. He doesn’t fit in, and anger simmers within him, ready to explode.

Then Skylar arrives—a girl who’s experienced evil firsthand. Though lost in silence, she forges a connection with Jed, his grandmother, and the neighbors who come for potions and spells. Even without a voice, she embraces her new life.

Eventually Jed flees, but not for the right reasons. And his insides still burn with rage, leaving him hollow and even more unhappy—until the day he feels compelled to return home.

Skylar understands why Jed has returned. It has nothing to do with her summoning spell. He’s come home to heal. She’s known for being a healer and can consume his sins so he can find peace. But the only way she knows how requires death…

The trees shiver. They know, too. They always do.







Nancee is a retired addiction counselor & nurse who worked to support her coffee and reading habit. A terrible insomniac, her nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. She puts the fun in dysfunctional and is a known book hoarder.



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