With us today is Andrea Stein. Andrea, please tell us about Girl Mogul Media. GirllMogul Media is the name for my publishing company which covers my books and my blog. I call it my parent company for all of my writing endeavors from publishing books to the GirlMogul Blog which is combo mom log/personal development blog and store.
Rough Harbor sounds intriguing. What gave you the idea for this story? Rough Harbor is a contemporary romance with a hint of suspense. There's a bad guy and a bit of a mystery but the focus is really on the relationship between Noah and Caitlyn former high school flames who are reunited after ten years apart. They left on bad terms but there is still a lot of unfinished business between the two of them. I was inspired to write the story because of its setting - its set in a coastal town in the Northeast - similar to where I grew up and I have always loved the quiet beauty of the water. And I'm one of those people who actually married their high school sweethearts so it was fun to play with the what ifs of a relationship that didn't go as planned.
How long have you been writing? Ever since I was a kid, like most writers - when I wasn't reading Wuthering Heights or Gothic romances I was writing them - or at least starting them. I wrote one complete book when I was in my early twenties on a two week break from work. And then I didn't do much fiction for awhile - I focused on blogging and some non-fiction books until I couldn't help myself. I actually wrote a tween mystery just before the birth of my third child, and once that was done (and the baby slept through the night) I turned back to working on my fiction.
What's your thoughts on self-publishing? It's a tremendous opportunity for writers but it t doesn't mean everyone should do it. It's a n opportunity because it means you as a writer can get your work to the market and also make a decent living self publishing given then current royalty structure for e books. But it's also a lot of work. In the old model there were these gatekeepers - these publishing houses and they were also bottlenecks. They were so flooded with incoming manuscripts it could take years to get published - or even to get feedback on what was wrong. And while they handled the formatting and distribution of your book for the most part you still had to do all of you own marketing. Now the gatekeepers for publishing your book are gone - it's relatively easy to publish an ebook or a print book or hire some to do it. But that doesn't mean you should skip all the critical steps like writing a great book, having it edited by both a beta group of readers and copy edited, plus you need it to be properly formatted for both ebook and paperback and then you need a great cover and then you need to market it. So many of these technical steps can now be outsourced for a fee that I think if you’re willing to be both a publisher and a writer than self publishing is a viable route - but it still means you need to work on writing books people want to read.
Do you prefer to have an agent or work without one? Right now I am happy self publishing - I would rather work on finding a great set of beta readers/editors and cover designers, than worry about the agent part.
After a bitter break up and professional set back in London, twenty seven year old Caitlyn has returned to Queensbay to work for Maxwell Randall, an old family friend, at his financial management firm. So far, bit by bit, Caitlyn’s been rebuilding all she lost after Michael St. John broke her heart …and tried to ruin her professional reputation.
But her past comes back to haunt her when Maxwell unexpectedly turns up dead. Not only does Caitlyn find her career in jeopardy but her heart is too, when Noah Randall, Maxwell’s son, and her first love, returns to Queensbay. Once, ten years ago, Caitlyn was sure Noah was the one for her…but the tragedy of her grandfather’s suicide and Noah’s decision to leave town left her bereft…and determined never to trust him again.
Over the past decade, she’s managed to do her best to forget about Noah Randall and the lingering questions surrounding her grandfather’s suicide. But now that’s he back in town – rich and more handsome than ever, and she can’t help wondering what if? What if Noah really was the one?
Noah Randall left home ten years ago to seek his fortune – vowing never to return until he’d made a success of himself – and show Caitlyn Montgomery just what she’d given up. He returns to find that Caitlyn Montgomery has only grown more alluring with time. Noah’s always wanted he couldn’t have…and now he wants Caitlyn again. But she’s determined not to make the same mistake twice.
While Noah and Caitlyn are revisiting old ground – and forging a new relationship, there’s trouble brewing in Queensbay. Old secrets and new lead Caitlyn to believe that perhaps her grandfather didn’t kill himself – and that Maxwell’s death was no accident. But just how far will someone go to keep her – and Noah – from finding out the truth…and will Queesbay prove to have troubled waters after all?
Caitlyn Montgomery carefully let herself in the side door with the key hidden under the flowerpot. Police tape fluttered along the back of the house, the side that faced the water, but here, under the small overhang, there was nothing, only a chilly October breeze and the more distant sound of the water lapping at the rocky shore.
The house was quiet, the silence of sadness. Her footsteps echoed across the polished wood flooring of the hallway as she crossed onto the marble tiles of the foyer. She knew it well, had almost grown up here, and had spent many nights here in the recent months, playing chess and sipping whisky with an old man.
The door to Maxwell Randall’s study swung silently open. Caitlyn crossed the floor quickly, her sneakered feet sinking into the plush carpet. She came around to Maxwell’s desk, an ornate, obnoxious thing meant to look like something a Gilded Age Robber Baron would have owned.
It was just as he’d left it. Empty. Maxwell hadn’t been one for bringing work home, she discovered. His desk was clear, a simple blotter aligned in the middle. A phone off to the right, a brass lamp off to the left. A pad of paper and a can of pens and pencils sat within reach. There was no computer, no planner or desk diary. She supposed if there had been one, the police would have taken it.
Slowly, methodically, she leaned over and began to open the desk drawers. Nothing in the two large ones flanking the right, nor the left. She turned her attention to the middle drawer, the thin one. It stuck a bit, and she felt her heart flutter in anticipation. She knelt down, to get a better view. Caitlyn pushed a strand of her brown-black hair behind her ear and squinted in concentration as she carefully slid her hands toward the back of the narrow drawer.
“What are you doing?”
Her head jerked up, hitting the side of the drawer as she rose to her feet.
“You?” Caitlyn said, surprise radiating through her.
There was a pause. Caitlyn drew herself up to her full height and looked at Noah Randall, all six-feet-one of him, standing in the doorway.
Author Bio and Links:
Hi, I’m Andrea Stein an author, mother, wife and blogger and a certified mom-chauffeur. I have been scribbling stories for as long as I can remember, including my first adventure story, inspired by an obsession with Out of Africa (book, movie and biography) about a young girl stranded in Kenya. It was serial fiction handwritten, given to my sister, who couldn’t read my handwriting. That story dies after one installment, but the next year I got a word processor (not a computer, but an ACTUAL WORD PROCESSOR) that showed about twenty lines of text at a time. This was before laptops were widely available and this allowed me to be able to type to my heart’s content in the privacy of my own room. Which I did. I think I spent the time writing stories about my “frenemies” to amuse myself. I also listened to a lot of the Cure and New Wave music. I have since moved on to a happier place.
Even though I read lots of different types of books, I write romance novels with a twist. More like contemporary romance than romantic suspense (I don’t write about serial killers or FBI agents) but I usually like to include a puzzle or mystery for my hero and heroine to solve.
Rough Harbor is my second novel, set in a small New England town. Coming soon is Ivy Cottage, also set in a small New England town on a river.
Links – Website:
Andrea will be awarding a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn host.
The tour dates can be found here:
Hi - Thanks so much for having me stop by the blog - it's been interesting morning here in NJ - an ice storm has caused a two hour delay for school and now I have a house full of kids in pajamas who are refusing to get dressed - if only kids were like characters in books and you could make them do exactly as you want LOL
Still not much snow here, I'm actually looking forward to more snow. :)
shadowrunner1987 at gmail dot com
Love the excerpt, can't wait to read the book.
I nearly hit my own head on something when the hero walked in on her! Great excerpt.
mnark111 AT gmail DOT com
Snow storm here in New Hampshire closed or delayed schools across the state, so I can definitely understand!
Your book sounds great... love suspense!
jbandy8233 AT gmail DOT com
Best of luck with the release!
Good to hear your thoughts on self-publishing. It does give readers access to more books then ever before.
Thanks for the comments - self publishing just seems to me that you have to put on more of a business hat than before - and be prepared to invest some of your cash up front!
Wonderful excerpt, I think it's great that the publishing world is changing and books that might not have been accepted by publisher, but are fantastic are getting the appreciation they deserve.
Has selfpublishing has been a rewarding experience for you so far?
Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!
kareninnc at gmail dot com
Hi Lena - Self publishing had been very rewarding for me so far - before I was sending to agents and publishers and more than a few times I came "THIS CLOSE" only to have things go awry. Now I write and I publish as a business - I have test readers, editors and I handle my own marketing - I am not sure it's really that much more work than not doing it on my own and I certainly feel more in control!
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