Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Taking Sides

As someone who spent the majority of my writing career as a journalist, today's guest in My Writing Corner strikes a familiar chord.  My guest today is author Cathy Seckman.  She has been a published writer since the 1980s, mostly in non-fiction. Her writing credits include thousands of pieces in newspapers and magazines. She is also a professional indexer, having indexed more than 200 books that range from terrorism to fashion design to ultrasound technology.  


Her own published books include Weirdo World, H2O Mysteries, Too Many Secrets, East Liverpool, Ohio Day Trips, and Rightside/Wrongside. She and her husband live just outside a map dot called Calcutta, Ohio, and love traveling, hiking, and motorcycling.  Let's find out more about Cathy.

Tell us about your road to publication.


    As my husband would say, do you want the short story or the long story?

    The short story: My cat ran off.

    The long story: In 1984, I was in my 20s, working as a dental hygienist but with a desperate and secret desire to be a writer. Bud, our unfixed tomcat (we were young and stupid back then), was missing for a week before we started to worry. I went to the local newspaper office during my lunch hour Monday to place a ‘lost pet’ ad. After a lot of fuss and trouble and potential lateness getting back to work, the ad was duly placed. That night I wrote a letter to the editor. I needed to complain about the fuss and trouble but didn’t want to irritate him, so I tried to make it funny. The following Monday my letter appeared in his regular weekly column.

    “This is the best letter to the editor we’ve ever gotten,” he wrote. “I’m still laughing. Ms. Seckman, you’re a very good writer.”

    Well. That seemed like validation to me, so on my next day off I picked up the telephone, held down the button, and paced back and forth as far as the cord would let me. Ten minutes later I let go of the button and dialed. I introduced myself to the editor and asked for a job.

    “Do you have a journalism degree?”

    “I’m a dental hygienist.”

    “Well, no, you can’t have a job. But do you want to try writing some freelance pieces for us?” 

    Can you say delirious? I was going to be a writer! That experience was followed by a full-time job at a smaller newspaper, then by freelancing at a metropolitan paper, then branching into magazine work, then building a career as an indexer. I was lucky enough to get in on the last gasp of the True magazines, writing 13 stories for True Love, True Romance, and True Confessions before they folded. My first novel, a middle-grade time travel fantasy called Weirdo World, was published by Cool Well Press in 2011. Several indie novels and short stories written with fellow writers followed. In 2015, Arcadia Publishing released my hometown history, East Liverpool. Ohio Day Trips, published by AdventureKEEN, followed in 2018. Now we’re up to date with yesterday’s release of Rightside/Wrongside with The Wild Rose Press (TWRP). 


What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?


    The short story: Two things.

    The long story: First, stick-to-it-iveness. I can always find better things to do than write. Maybe we’re all like that, to some extent. Sometimes, sure, I sit down in the morning and bang out 2,000 words before lunch. I can even do that for days at a time, but sticking with it long-term is hard. I don’t write every day, or even every week. Vacations, canning season, the holidays, campouts – even housework can throw me off-track. The difficult thing about that is losing track of where I am in the story. Just last week I sent my characters off on an exploratory mission to the ocean. They crossed the Plains, crossed the swamp, and were almost in sight of the ocean when I realized they hadn’t crossed the river – the same river that features very prominently on my map of Rightside/Wrongside. Then I had to back the truck up, which is always annoying.

 

   I envy writers who can stay on schedule and write multiple books in a year. But that’ll never be me. 

Second, characterizations. I constantly struggle with show-don’t-tell. In first drafts, I’m likely to write something like, Bud had never been the kind of guy to anguish over the fate of Wrongside men. He was too stoic for that.

    Sheesh. In the second draft I fret over those lame sentences until I come up with something like, Willie shook his head. “Why’s it gotta be like this, huh?” Bud kicked at the campfire, sending sparks skyward. “Because it’s always been like this.” 

    By the fifth draft I come up with something I like, but it’s always a hard slog.


 How do you come up with your plots?


    The short story: I don’t.

    The long story: I’m an unrepentant pantser, writing by the seat of my pants. I’ve tried plotting. I’ve read books about plotting. But I’ll probably never be a plotter. When I started R/W I had some vague notions about how things would go. Women take over a colony world because the men are fighting and trying to wipe each other out. The men are behind a 100-mile Border Fence in Wrongside; the women are in charge of everything over in Rightside. There are lots of rules and restrictions about sex. It’s only for procreation (and maybe recreation). Baby girls stay with their mothers; boys go to their fathers. What happens when a man and a woman fall in love? What happens when a girl doesn’t want to give up her son? What happens when political intrigue leads to sabotage and the kidnapping of the president’s daughter? There has to be a war. Oh, and someone important has to die so there’s a good death scene.

    I got a 94,000-word book out of that, so pantsing worked out pretty well for me.


What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?


    The short story: Will Riker made me do it.

    The long story: Among the various unfinished novels that languish in my computer files was Rightside/Wrongside. I’d gotten the idea from a 1988 episode of Star Trek TNG called “Angel One.” Commander Riker had gotten himself marooned on a matriarchal planet as the boyfriend of a government official, and I was fascinated by the absolute absurdity of one sex dominating the other. I didn’t get very far with the idea before the novel sputtered out, but four years ago I decided to try to finish it.

    Somehow, for some reason, everything clicked for me on the second try. I wrote until my fingers cramped up and my eyes burned. The first draft went like lightning, and even the later drafts went well. Believing it was the best thing I’d ever written, I decided to try for an agent. That’s a much longer story. Seventy-some rejections later, I charitably told myself R/W was still a great book. I just didn’t know how to classify it or write a query letter.

    Fast-forward to November 2022, when I decided on a whim to attend Writer’s Road Trip, an annual one-day conference in Erie, PA, hosted by Area 1 of Pennwriters. Also on a whim, I signed up for an editor pitch when I saw an opening at registration. I hate live pitches, but decided I’d just ask some questions.

    The Wild Rose Press editor turned out to be a delightful person, and after she answered all the questions she said, “What have you been working on?”

    Darned if she didn’t request the entire R/W manuscript. And darned if she didn’t offer me a contract two months later.

    I’m beyond thrilled to know that because of that little conference and TWRP, Rightside/Wrongside will finally have an audience.


Let's get a blurb:


    
On Rightside/Wrongside, women are in charge and men live behind the Border Fence. Their only interactions are for sex, which women control with rigid laws. Mothers raise daughters, and fathers know nothing of them. Women send sons across the Fence and never know if they live or die.     Rightside President Alanna Olaffson and her countrywomen believe female empowerment is a good thing, a necessary thing, right up to the time it goes frighteningly wrong.

    Jessie, pregnant with a boy, meets Tenosha, who recently sent her son across the Fence. Unwilling to accept Rightside’s laws, they hatch a plan that grows beyond their control. Smuggling, sabotage, kidnapping, and civil war force a cataclysmic confrontation between the powerful women and the no-longer-subservient men.


Want more, then here's an excerpt:


    The old man dozed over his paperback. Even in a busy week his job was boring as hell. What made it worthwhile, besides the status and the pay bag, was the free bed. Old Willie lived right in the Transfer Cabin, backed up against the Border Fence in Cody, and that suited him fine. He took his meals at a bar down the street - had a few good friends there - and spent most of his free time nodding over a book or stoking his small stove.

    It was a nice quiet life, a safe life. Nobody bothered the man in the Transfer Cabin. Yeah, it suited him fine.

    The bell rang, startling him out of his doze. It wasn’t a simple ring, for boxed goods or vehicles through the big Door, but the four-note flourish they used for a baby. It sounded again, signaling two to transfer. “It never rains but it pours,” he mumbled, and limped over to answer the bell.

    When the ready light flashed on, Old Willie pulled out the heavy metal Drawer set into the back wall of the cabin. He smiled down at the two sleeping babies.

    “Welcome to Wrongside,” he said softly.

    The babies didn’t even wake up as Willie started his paperwork. That was good - it would give him time to heat some bottles after he finished.

    He puzzled over the babies’ names, rolling possibilities slowly across his tongue. “Trader, Travis, Trevor? Brandon, Bert, Brock, Buford?”

    Willie liked naming babies. It was his favorite part of the job. The last few transfer agents had been lackadaisical about it - most folks around here were named Bob or Mike or Tom - but Old Willie tried to be creative. He had an antique pre-Settlement book on baby names, and it was brittle and dog-eared with age and use.

    “Henry, Hollis, Hoss, Hud?”

    The dark-haired baby let out a wail.

    “Okay, Hud, you little asshole, couldn’t wait till I was finished, could you?” Willie scolded. He picked up the crying infant and slung him over one shoulder, cradling the head carefully.

    “You’ll just damn well have to ride over here with me till I get you a bottle warmed up,” he said, heading for the kitchen.

    The baby, lulled by the warmth of Old Willie’s body and the rumble of his voice, drifted back to sleep.

Willie peeked down at the closed eyes. “Little asshole,” he commented absently.


Want more still? Then you'll have to buy the book.  Following are its buy links:


Barnes and Noble:  Right Side/Wrong Side

Amazon:  Right Side/Wrong Side


What advice do you have for beginning writers?


    The short story: Just do it.

    The long story: I like bullet points, so here are a bunch of them.


  • “There is no try. There is only do.” Yoda could have taught a writing course on those sentences. Don’t wish you could write. Don’t plan to write, or try to write, or talk about writing. Sit down somewhere comfortable, with a pen or a keyboard, and write a story.

  • Take some classes. There’s a myriad of online courses in writing, but do some homework before you sign up for one. Who’s presenting the course, and what kind of writing do they do? Do they sell their writing? Does their work get good reviews? In-person conferences and writing seminars are even better. Ask at your local colleges and libraries, and search online. You’ll have to spend serious money to pay the registration, travel to the conference, and stay in a hotel, but you can reduce the cost by volunteering to work registration, introduce a speaker, stuff folders and badges, etc.

  • Join a writers’ group, in person if possible. I belong to two local groups. One is for exercises and critiques, the other is more social, but both give me quality time with other writers.

  • Try out different kinds of writing – many people start with memoir, but also explore poetry (I’m hopeless at that), nonfiction (pretty good at that, though), short stories, and the dozens of genres of fiction. 

  • Accept that your first tries at writing will probably be unpublishable. Put them in a file somewhere and move on.

  • And here’s the last and best piece of advice. Go to michaelventura.org. Click on the pdf for “The Talent of the Room.” It will tell you what you need to know about being a writer. Read it carefully, and take it to heart. 


What’s your next project?

    

I’d been working on a novelization of the life of one of my ancestors. Anthony Evans joined the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment during the Revolutionary War, was captured by the British, joined the British Army, escaped, and rejoined the Americans. After R/W sold, though, I abandoned that project to begin a sequel to R/W called Oceanside. I’m at the one-third point, and my heroines and heroes are fighting like cats and dogs.


If you want more information on Cathy, here are her social media contacts: 



SOCIAL MEDIA


Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Web:  Cathy Hester Seckman - Home (cathyseckman.com)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cathy.seckman

Email: cathy@cathyseckman.com


Thank you, Cathy, for being my guest today. Any questions or comments for Cathy?

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

A Personal Voyage

Authors have many different personal stories to tell on their road to publication. The stories are as personal and varied as the authors themselves. It's why I love to meet new authors and learn about their roads to publication and why they love to write. My guest today in My Writing Corner, Cara Bertoia has quite a unique story to tell.

Cara says she grew up in a strait-laced Southern family, but she was always fascinated with casinos. In her twenties on a summer hiatus from teaching in North Carolina, she drove to California and ended up becoming a dealer at Caesars in Lake Tahoe. She says she discovered that after teaching high school, handling an unruly gambler was a piece of cake. She admits her mother highly disapproved of her working in a casino, "a place so bad it has 'sin' in the middle." 

Eventually, Cara succumbed to pressure from the family and returned east to take a hi-tech job in Boston. She also began working on her MFA in writing at Emerson. Her goal was to write the first realistic novel about casino life from the perspective of an experienced table games dealer. She says she is always amazed that normal and sometimes quite intelligent players become absolutely clueless in the casino. She says they repeat superstitious nonsense and no amount of logic can change their position, but maybe her novel will.


While in Boston she was offered the opportunity to join Princess Cruises as a croupier. Jumping at the chance, she spent the next five years circling the globe. Sometimes life exceeds your dreams, she says. After being awed by the wonders of Venice, the fjords of Norway, and the Northern Lights in St. Petersburg, Cara returned from ships with a very special souvenir, her Scottish husband, Ray. They went to work at the Spa Casino in Palm Springs, and now live in Hollywood, Florida, where she writes about her casino years while wistfully gazing out at the ocean.


Cara, tell us about your road to publication.


When I was a child, I grew up in a very crowded house. I have three sisters. The way I would escape all the mayhem was by reading. From the time I could pick up a book I became a voracious reader. At eight, I would read my parent’s novels, whatever books I could find. At night instead of counting sheep I would tell myself Cinderella stories where I got to be the heroine. But my first real writing class was when I worked in high-tech in Boston. I took a class at Harvard Extension, and the professor read my story aloud to the group. He asked me to do it, but I was too self-conscious, because it was the first story I had ever written. From that day on I was hooked. 


The hardest part of writing is just putting down the first words. I love to think about writing, rehearse conversations in my head, and try to brainstorm plots. But since organization is not my strong skill, it can remain in my head for a long time. I wrote my first book because my husband yelled at me one day, “You’ve been talking about writing a book for years, you’ll never do it.” Obviously, he pissed me off so I wrote it. It was the kick in the butt I needed.  


At the beginning of the Co-Vid pandemic I was querying. The Wild Rose Press decided they liked my book. I spent the next year working with my wonderful Editor Kaycee to make my book as good as I could. It was a very hard process, she made me take out a whole plot and add more chapters on the casino industry. Since I had so much time at home, I was able to get into a great head space to write. 


What advice do you have for beginning writers?


Write, take classes and query. Learn how to take criticism because there will be plenty of it. When I was in grad school at Emerson, I sent an article in to a local Boston paper, completely unsolicited. Imagine my surprise when they printed it. I did not get paid but I got a byline. Then slightly tipsy after a glass of wine at lunch, I called a smaller local paper and told them they should hire me to write a weekly humor column. They were desperate for material, and I worked cheap, so they did. With the Internet, there are so many paths to get published. So go out there prepared to fail, and to clog up your inbox with rejection emails. Because each one means you are getting closer. Do it enough and eventually you will get published, and that will give you the courage to keep writing. 


What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?


My latest project is a short story called The Perfect Breasts. This is a very personal raw story. The genesis for the story was loss, longing, and love. I have published it for breast cancer month, and all the profits will be donated to cancer research. I have priced it at $1.99 because my main goal is to get my story read. I wanted to explore women's complicated relationships with their bodies. Are women their bodies? But the most important aspect is the loss of a loved one and how it affects the ones left behind. I was thrilled when one of my reviewers said it should be required reading for every woman.


Let's get a blurb:

Hannah Clein will always remember the day she went to a department store with her mother to buy her first bra as her last best day, “B.C.” before the cancer. She considered herself an ordinary child who loved challah bread, reading, and her family – often in that order.


With a normal life in the rear-view mirror, we follow Hannah over three decades, as she navigates the tricky transition from girlhood to womanhood. All her life, she just wants to belong. Be normal.

In a tale that explores a women’s complicated relationships with her body, and the love of her life, we learn the psyche is a funny thing. What are the perfect breasts? And how does the loss of a loved one affect those left behind?


The Perfect Breasts mixes family lore with imagination in a compelling tale of loss, longing, and love. 

How about an Excerpt: 

        The lights in the cafeteria darkened, and Vice Principal Adams, a self-identified feminist, took the stage. All the students admired her, making her a perfect choice to host a ladies only night. She spoke into the microphone, “Tonight, we are going to watch a movie about puberty and the changes that are happening to your body.” 

        Hannah watched a roomful of mothers smiling indulgently at their daughters who were trying hard to avert their gaze. She realized every girl in this room felt like she did, and every mother felt like hers, thrilled to show off her daughter. The children shifted in their chairs while the mothers smiled, an uneasy moment that stretched out until eternity. Suddenly Janie’s Film on Menstruation started.
 
        The main characters were two kids on the Staten Island Ferry. The sets resembled a low budget horror film, a weird mixture of live action and animation. After thirty minutes watching the horrors of the curse, Hannah’s stomach quivered. In African villages women on their periods lived in separate huts. The part about sanitary pads made Hannah cringe and cover her eyes with her hands. Dear G-d, please don’t give me my period for a very long time, she silently prayed. Somehow the movie about puberty that was supposed to make her feel comfortable terrified her. A pregnant Statue of Liberty appeared on the screen. 
    
        When the lights in the room were turned on, Vice Principal Adams asked for any questions. The entire room remained silent. Everyone seemed relieved they could now go home and forget this night ever happened. 

How do you come up with your plots?


It seems like we all like to solve mysteries. But the fun part is that I also get to create them. My husband Ray is also in the casino business, we met on a Princess cruise ship, where we both worked. The day he jumped ship to be with me, we drove from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and got a job at one of the Indian casinos that were opening up there. 


We had known each other for two months, and we got married in Vegas a month later. The book came about because whenever we watched a movie set in a casino we always found a mistake.  Those movies were my inspiration. We rewatched Croupier the other day and found five mistakes in the first ten minutes. The dealer pushed out the wrong amount of chips, picked up the cards the wrong way, switched money between hands, and didn’t clear her hands. We always said we could do better, so one day I decided to try. 


What you don’t know reading my novel is that the series was inspired by actual incidents so coincidental and sad that if you made them up, they would sound like a contrivance. We arrived in Palm Springs and got married three weeks later. My husband’s roommate from the cruise ships was the best man at our wedding. Dave left his job at our casino and moved to Albuquerque to take a job as a shift manager there. Working there he met Julian and encouraged him to move to Palm Springs for greater opportunities. Even though they switched places they couldn’t avoid their fate. They were both murdered under mysterious circumstances.


How do you develop characters?


The characters in my book were familiar to me from my two decades working in the casino industry. Fortunately, my boss was the most charismatic tribal chairman in America. People always asked me, “What’s a nice girl like you doing working in a place like this?” Now I could honestly say, “Research.” 

The characters in my head just kept letting me know how they wanted their story told. There were so many interesting stories to tell, since my co-workers were a fascinating group of people from all over the world. Everyone had a different story about how they got in the business, most involved escaping tyrannical governments. I had to research historical events to make sure I got it right.  All the pieces of the novel came together in an organic way to capture that special time and place. It was important to me that my protagonist would be a strong woman running the casino. Because I worked with so many smart, strong, independent women.


What’s your next project? 


I have been playing with a few ideas at the same time. The first idea is a retelling of the 1957 classic novel, The Best of Everything by Ronna Jaffe. It tells the story of five single women who live in NewYork City. When it was published, it was an immediate classic. A 65th anniversary edition has been released by Penguin Classics. Reading it transports you to New York City in the fifties, and the very real problems women always face.

I would change the setting to California in the eighties, to give the story a new perspective. What do you think? Does that sound like a good idea? Leave a note in the comments or email me at carabertoia@yahoo.com  (Having spent the 80s in California, I think that would be fun!)


Cara  says she loves to connect with her readers. She invites them to send her a picture with any or her work, and she will post those pictures to social media. 


Here are the buy links for her featured book, The Perfect Breasts.  She has published it on Amazon Kindle for breast cancer month, and all the profits will be donated to cancer research.  


To learn more about Cara's book based on Cara's casino life, her social contacts follow as well.


Buy links:

The Perfect Breasts Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CGMTYBFD?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

The Perfect Breasts by Cara Bertoia - BookBub

The Perfect Breasts by Cara Bertoia | Goodreads


Social Contact Links:


mailto:carabertoia@yahoo.com


TIKTOK


Cara Bertoia’s Blog 


Twitter 


Instagram


Goodreads 


BookBub 


Facebook


Thank you, Cara, for being my guest today.  Any comments or questions for Cara?

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Spinning A Reading Spell

October is upon us and that means it's the season for ghosts, goblins, and, of course, witches, to make an appearance.  My guest today in My Writing Corner, is Chelsey M. Ortega who bring us her new book that's very appropriate to the season called Bondwitch. Before we learn more about her book, let's learn more about Chelsey.

Chelsey describes herself  as a teacher by day and award-winning author by night. History is her first love, she says, and any story involving magic and romance, is her second love. She tells us she especially loves witches and is still awaiting her acceptance letter to a well-known school. Chelsey received her Bachelor's in History Teaching from Brigham Young University.

In addition to writing, Chelsey teaches high school U.S. History and ELD. She lives in Utah with her husband, three children, and two cats.  

Chelsey, what do you enjoy about being an author?


Writing what I want to read. I live by that advice, and it makes editing so enjoyable. My husband and I read together, and I can’t wait to finish the book we are on so that I can read Bondwitch with him.  


What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?


The dreaded marketing. A lot of recommended techniques are outside of my comfort zone, and once I feel like I get something down, a new thing is being recommended. But it’s okay. I’m learning a lot and am slowly finding what works for me. 


Tell us about your road to publication.


If I hadn’t been willing to ask a simple question, I would not be here. I queried TWRP first, and received a partial request. After that, they said they couldn’t continue with me because my writing needed improvement. Luckily for me, they told me exactly where and how I needed to improve. I spent the next four months working on my craft and fixed my manuscript (and still querying other publishers, just in case). I emailed TWRP again and asked if they would be willing to accept a resubmission. They said that they normllally don’t, but made an exception and invited me to send over the first three chapters again. That turned into a full request, and that turned into an offer of contract! Moral of my story: always ask. The worst they can do is say no.


Tell us about your book and how you came up with the idea to write it?


Yesterday, my debut novel was released. Bondwitch follows teen-witch, Annamaria, as her powers are unlocked, her magical education begins, and she attempts to straddle both worlds. A friend drama, a budding romance, and battles against historic enemies will turn her world upside down.   


Bondwitch came together from several different angles. The first being that I always wished that the Twilight series had witches in it. There’s a line in Eclipse where Bella and Edward are arguing about werewolves and Bella says something like, “And if Angela’s a witch, she can join the party, too.” My 17-year-old heart really wanted that to be a foreshadowing line, but sadly, it wasn’t. When I sat down to write Bondwitch, I wasn’t consciously trying to rewrite Twilight, but I do think that it subconsciously influenced my plot and world building. 


The second big inspiration was a dream I had about a teenage girl coming home from a school function late at night, and her house had been taken over by vampires. I thought that made an intriguing scene and asked myself, “Why would they want her and her house in the first place?” Which led to an entire plot and world. Now, when you read the book, that scene is not there at all. I ended up making a ton of changes after my first draft, and the final product became a completely different story. But that one scene led to an entire world. 


Let's get a blurb: 


Eighteen-year-old Annamaria Lyons has never left her small hometown of Harrison, Wyoming. She has lived with her aunt, Trinity, since her parents died when she was two years old. Trinity has been a wonderful guardian with one exception—she won’t allow Annamaria out of the house after sunset. That is, until the night of senior prom. Annamaria's long-lost sister arrives, bringing with her a world full of hidden family secrets and the supernatural.

Forced to flee her childhood home without a proper goodbye to her human life and first love, Annamaria immerses herself in the magical world. New friends and a new suitor challenge her original dreams for the future, and when she finds herself caught in the middle of a centuries-old conflict, Annamaria must decide to rise above it or give in to the darkness.


How about an excerpt:


    “Annamaria… Prom Queen… Congratulations.”


    Uh…thanks.” Anna grunted as she tried to shove away from him.


    “My Senior Prom was pretty amazing too.” His eyes darkened. “But my senior year didn’t end so well. Hopefully, yours is better.”


    Anna stopped trying to push him away and looked up at him. He was older, which must be why Anna didn’t recognize him. Their eyes met, and Anna froze as his pupils expanded until they almost covered his brown irises. The surrounding volume lowered, and the music became fuzzy. Anna swayed, and her fear disappeared. Her surroundings were a blur save this handsome man. This man who held her desire in his hand. He was the only thing that mattered. Obeying him was the only thing she wanted.

   

“Let’s leave,” he whispered. Goosebumps erupted along Anna’s cheek and neck. “Come with me.” They stopped dancing, and he gripped Anna’s hand and led her toward the exit.


How do you come up with your plots?


So many different forms of inspiration find their way to me. Whatever I think is missing in a trope or genre that I love, I ask myself how would I put that missing piece into a story. Which swings back around to writing what I love to read. Or, like what happened with Bondwitch, a single scene comes to mind, and I build a plot and world around it. I have a lot of unfinished stories that I can’t wait to finish and get out there.  


What’s your next project?


Right now I am in the process of editing the sequel, Bondwitch: Hybrid. My manuscript is currently in the hands of beta readers, so while I wait for feedback, I’m writing the first draft of the third book, Bondwitch: Liberation. I’m really excited for the continuation of Annamaria’s story.


Wonderful!  We have more future reads! 

Readers can learn more about Chelsey at www.chelseymortega.com.  Here are the buy links for her new book:


Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1143894193?ean=9781509251940 


Thank you, Chelsey, for being my guest today. Any comments or questions for her?


Characters Lead the Way

We're in the heart of the summer and it is time to relax and enjoy a few good books by the beach or in some secluded mountain cabin. To...