Dear Mr. Hemingway Logo

read what you love • love what you read

Guest Writer~Kristen Granata

Photo Credit~Kristen Granata

March 31, 2021

Happy Wednesday Book Lovers,

Today is the last day of the Indie Author Guest Writer Series. We are finishing off this incredible series strong with romance author, Kristen Granata.    

Kristen Granata is a teacher by day, and an author by night. Known for writing emotional contemporary and new adult romance, she loves creating realistic, flawed characters who struggle through the darkest parts of life and come out stronger on the other side. Kristen is a self-proclaimed “bitter cynic trapped in a hopeless romantic’s body.” Her characters pack a sarcastic punch, make you laugh, make you think, make you ugly cry – and they will always live happily ever after. If you’re a lover of moving, inspirational reads, Kristen’s your girl.

Kristen published her first book, Collision, in March of 2018. Since then, eight more books have been born.  With over 8,000 loyal followers on Instagram, this romance writing diva is one to follow.  Granata’s page is filled with  family life, hysterical videos and all things books and reading.  One thing that I truly admire about Kristen is how she openly shares her mental health struggles with depression and anxiety with her Instagram following. Her message is a beacon of hope to anyone who is suffering: You are not alone. She delicately weaves this theme into her writing, and demonstrates the ability of love to heal trauma.

When she’s not teaching or writing, Kristen is reading, Instagramming, indulging in her messy love affair with popcorn, and annoying her wife and step-daughters by incessantly singing along to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. 

Who else is as obsessed as I am?  

I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H.  Her book recommendation is awesome and she is also paying tribute to one of our previous guest writers.  Enjoy Sweet friends!

Happy Reading!

Kelly

P.S.  Be sure to check out Kristen Granata on all of her bookish adventures RIGHT HERE!

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Being that I suffer from depression, it’s no surprise I immediately fell in love with this book I’m about to recommend to you. I think you’d enjoy it, and I wonder if you’d be able to relate to anything Emery Reed goes through. As you know personally, depression takes control of our thoughts, our actions, and our lives. And it takes Emery on a road trip—one he doesn’t plan on coming back from.

I’ve read On the Way to You, by Kandi Steiner many times since I first read it in 2019. It was recommended to me by a friend, and it was the first Kandi Steiner book I’d read. Her writing is beautiful, like poetry, and every sentence wrapped around my heart. I’ve read every one of her books since then, but this one always stands out as different from the rest.

Cooper is an old soul in a young woman’s body. She’s experienced her share of heartache and tragedy, but it doesn’t bring her down. Something is missing from her life though, and she gets into a beautiful stranger’s car when he asks her to join him on his road trip. Sure, it’s dangerous. Sure, it isn’t smart. But our hearts connect us with certain people we need before our minds realize what’s happening, and Cooper was drawn to Emery that day for a reason.

It’s a heartbreakingly beautiful story watching Cooper as she “comes of age” in a sort of way—you’d no doubt love the adventure she goes on—and watching Emery struggle with a decision no one should ever have to. I especially love how Cooper snoops through his journal, and we get to see some of the real raw darkness that’s inside of Emery. I cried my eyes out when she finds him on the edge of that literal cliff at the end of their trip, and I know you’d be moved to tears if you could read it too.

“There was a war raging inside that head of his tonight, and only he could see it. Only he could fight.”

I’ve dedicated my own writing to bringing awareness to mental health. All nine of my books have serious topics weaved into their love stories. My mission is to help people who are suffering. To help them know that they’re not alone. And to show them that there’s a warrior inside them, if only they’d dig deep and let her out. There’s hope at the end of the dark tunnel of depression. I only wish you’d have found it.

Sincerely,

Kristen Granata

P.S. My very first book, Collision, follows a woman named Merritt who’s reeling from her father’s suicide. It’s a contemporary romance that showcases how we can find hope and love after tragedy. If you’re into emotional love stories that make you cry, then this book is a must-read!

Click here to Purchase!

Guest Writer~Kandi Steiner

Photo Credit~Kandi Steiner

Greetings Book Lovers!

It is Friday friends and I am in absolute love with today’s Indie Author Guest Writer.  Best Selling author Kandi Steiner is on the blog today and I couldn’t be more excited. Steiner is best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories and loves bringing flawed characters to life.  No two Kandi Steiner books are ever the same. If you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, Steiner has got you covered.  I Have been a fan of Steiner for more years than I can count.  Her book, On the Rocks was featured in The 2019 Dear Mr. Hemingway Holiday Books & Pairings.  Be sure to check out my love for this book and what I paired with it for the winning combination!

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Steiner graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed it to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, snuggling her furry puppy and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order. 

I am living vicariously through Steiner today as she shares a book she loves and her  memories of spending time at The Hemingway House in Key West Florida (my trip was cancelled to go there last year due to the pandemic).  Get ready to add ANOTHER fabulous book to your TBR.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!!

Happy Reading!

Kelly

P.S. Happy Pub Day to Steiner.  Her book Hazed, was released yesterday!  Be sure to check it out!

Click on the book pic to read!

P.P.S. Connect with this beautiful writer on all her wonderful platforms below!

➜ NEWSLETTER: kandisteiner.com/newsletter

➜ FACEBOOK: facebook.com/kandisteiner

➜ FACEBOOK READER GROUP (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandilandks

➜ INSTAGRAM: Instagram.com/kandisteiner

➜ TWITTER: twitter.com/kandisteiner

➜ PINTEREST: pinterest.com/authorkandisteiner

➜ WEBSITE: www.kandisteiner.com

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

On my 30th birthday, I strolled through the house in Key West that you once called home. I was in awe, standing in your second-story office overlooking the pool and the palms, my eyes soaking in the same views you did while writing some of your greatest works. It was easy for me to understand why that would be your favorite place to sit and be inspired, especially because Key West is one of my favorite places in the world, too.

And of course, having a dozen or so polydactyl cats roaming around doesn’t hurt. 

That wasn’t my first trip to your house. No, that first time was many years ago, when I was early in my writing career and had no idea what the future held for me. But on my 30th birthday, my second time touring your old home, I wasn’t alone.

I was with a boy named Jack.

Jack and I met on Bumble, a dating app that I find is difficult to explain if you haven’t been on it yourself. All you really need to know, however, is that we went on a hike for our first date, and I knew instantly that he was something special.

Two years later, and we are engaged.

Engaged! Writing that word makes me giggle like a schoolgirl, Ernest. I just can’t get over the way it feels to say, “My fiancé!” Our engagement is recent, you see, as he just proposed on March 11th. Maybe that’s why I’m all wrapped up in my ooey, gooey romantic feels and find myself reaching for books that make me feel the same way.

Have you heard of Staci Hart?

She’s a fantastic writer with a knack for romantic comedy, and I’ve never read writing so lush and poignant in all my life. I recently read her latest release, Bet the Farm, and I’ve included it here with my letter for you to read, too. This romantic comedy had me laughing so hard my eyes watered, but even better? The romance made me swoon with big, fat, heart eyes and my hands clasped over my chest. I couldn’t get enough of the main characters, and the setting of this picturesque small town in California was just the icing on the cake.

Did I mention that the heroine is lactose-intolerant, and she’s just inherited her grandfather’s dairy farm?

Trust me — this is a must read.

I hope all is well on your end, and I look forward to hearing about your most recent hunts and boxing matches. You’re still the reigning champion in Key West, no doubt.

Warm Wishes & Whiskey,

Kandi Steiner

P.S.  Also, thought you might find it funny to know that you can name your iPhone when you set it up.  Mine is named Ernest Hemingway. 🙂

Click on the book pic to purchase!

Guest Writer~Melissa Grace

Photo Credit~Melissa Grace

March 24, 2021

Dear Bookish Loves,

I am so excited to share with you today’s guest writer.  Indie Author Melissa Grace is on the blog and I am jumping for joy! I was first introduced to Grace on The Indie Author Book Club. I loved her vibe from the second I checked out her website and instagram page…love at first sight my friends.  Grace is a freelance writer whose work has been featured in publications like Medium, Thought Catalog, the To Write Love On Her Arms Blog, and The MightyHome Is Where You Are is her first novel and I absolutely LOVED it!  You can read my rave review of it RIGHT HERE!

Grace is a chronic illness and mental health advocate.  She resides just outside of Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and five (yes, five) fur children, including her hostile kitty, Mama. She is shining her book light on a fellow Indie Author who was one of last week’s guest writers.  How fabulous is that!! I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H.!  In my opinion… Melissa Grace is Some Kind of Wonderful!

Happy Reading!

Kelly

P.S  Check out all of Melissa’s articles RIGHT HERE!

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

Confession time. As I sat down to write this letter to you, I felt like I knew you as an author. You felt familiar in the way that our favorite authors do–like a cozy blanket. I started sifting through your backlog and alarm flooded my veins when I realized I’ve never actually read any of your books. But you’re one of the most quotable writers from our history, and I’ve certainly reflected on your words–words that I could wrap myself up in like a burrito–many times.

As I was reading the book I want to tell you about, it was your words that came to my mind. You spoke often during your lifetime about brokenness and the human experience. Frequency Of Attraction by Eve Kasey is the epitome of the beauty that lies within the limited existence we experience under the stars. (Did I mention the killer space theme of the book that is the last in a series of three?) You once said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong in the broken places.”

Those words feel as if they could have been spoken about our hero Vadim. Vadim is no stranger to heartbreak. His dark past has him convinced that he doesn’t really deserve love. Our heroine, Quinn, feels the same way. Both characters question if love really exists because truth be told, they’ve not allowed themselves the opportunity to experience it. 

Being the poetic fellow you are, I’m sure you can guess what happens when these two beautiful souls meet. I will warn you, Mr. Hemingway, this book will probably make you blush at least ten times as we get to observe this intricately woven tale of romantic (and sexual) awakening. 

You will witness Vadim’s heart crack wide open as Quinn helps uncover pieces of him he never thought possible, and your chest will ache as we watch Quinn battle with feeling not good enough. You will fight off tears as Vadim pushes away the very person who has made him realize the man he’s always wanted to be. 

This book will make you feel a lot of things. All of the feels, as we like to say nowadays. But the emotion this story made me feel most was hope. So, I want to leave you with a quote from Frequency Of Attraction:

Every one of us is worthy of the greatest kind of love.”

You were right, Mr. Hemingway. The world does break us all. But the thing that can heal even the deepest of wounds will always be love. Eve’s book will show you exactly that.

Sincerely,

Melissa Grace

P.S. You can check out my first book Home Is Where You Are at Parnassus Books  (my fave indie bookstore that you would LOVE) and on Amazon and be on the lookout for the second book, Home Again, later this summer!

Click the Book Pic to purchase!

Guest Writer~Maria Ann Green

Photo Credit~Maria Ann Green

March 19, 2021

TGIF Fantastic Readers!

I am psyched to share with you another incredible Guest Writer.  Today on the Blog is USA TODAY and Internationally Best Selling Indie Author, Maria Ann Green.  Green is the author to many, many, many books.  She’s a creative, mouthy, introverted, proud bisexual, highly-sensitive INFJ, Slytherpuff, dork with a sweet-tooth.  Ha….now I’ve got your attention.  Green is also the co-host of the Indie Author Book Club Podcast where she shares all things books and writing with fellow Indie Authors. 

Green lives with her husband and little family, which includes a couple lazy cats who make great lap warmers. You can usually find her wishing that she lived in a secret cabin in the woods where she could be a hermit reading and writing all of the time (sounds perfect to me). Instead she lives the suburban life where she pretends to her neighbors and the other moms around that she doesn’t swear like a sailor, have hidden tattoos, and loves a good bottle of wine (she would fit right in with me and my friends). She absolutely believes in unicorns and ghosts and hopes vampires and monsters are real too. I am officially in love with this author!

Maria devours books, reading mostly in bed or listening to audiobooks in the car. Writing has been one of her passions for pretty much her whole life. So creativity is a necessity for her, always. After working in the mental health field for almost a decade, she’s now living her dream as a stay-at-home writer, kiddo wrangler, professional snuggler, and constantly-tired-person. When it comes to her writing, she specializes in dark and twisted thrillers or gritty, angsty contemporary romances. But no matter the genre, she always prefers writing deeply flawed characters with dysfunctional relationships. She’s pretty sure the whole “unlikable character” thing is a conspiracy because every character she loves has been labeled this way. Ridiculous. And because of this, she’s pretty much found it impossible to write anything without at least a little mayhem. 

Maria was once told she painted with her words, and that phrase stuck with her – because writing really is an art, and good stories are true masterpieces. She’s always trying to grow and improve in her craft, shooting for a masterpiece of her own someday. And she plans to write forever because writing gives Maria the ability to disappear into new worlds and create people within twisting plots, all from the comfort of her couch. She will always believe that though not every story is for her, and her stories aren’t for everyone, every story has a reader.

I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H.  She shines her book light on two Indie Authors that we all should read!

Happy Reading!

Kelly

P.S. Green is a coffee-in-the-morning and wine-in-the-evening kind of person, preferably with a nap in between (my kind of gal). Maria prefers cats over dogs, books over people, and late nights over early mornings.  Works for me…but oh, I prefer chickens over cats or dogs!!!

Dear Mr. Hemingway, 

I wanted to write to you today to let you know about two authors I think you HAVE to look into. I know you are a big shot, and that’s why I thought to write to you specifically. See, there are some readers who aren’t in the know about how AMAZING indie authors and indie books can be. And that’s just a huge shame. I’ve read more amazing indie books than I have traditional, and I think you can help spread the word about these two authors that I think need to be shared more. 

Kathryn Trattner is the first author that I think you would love. She is the very best author I’ve ever read. Her words are beautiful and strung together in a way that weaves a web of story around you before you even know what’s happened. She writes fantasies and fairy tale retellings, and even has a short story collection. There isn’t a single piece of Katie’s writings that I haven’t loved, and I think you’ll find that you agree. She’s one of my all time favorite authors, and I know she’s going to go places!

The second author I want you to know about is Bekah Berge. She also writes fantasy novels that are exciting and beautiful. She is also one of the strongest women I know. You see, she – like me – deals with chronic pain, which makes it hard for her to write. But you know what, she persists anyway. She is a warrior who also writes fantastic stories. She, like Katie, is an inspiration. And on top of all of that her writing is phenomenal. 

These two women are supportive, kind, and freaking amazing authors. They may be on the lesser-known side, but that is only for now. They are going to go great places, I’m more than sure, and I think you’ll want to read them now so you can say you knew them when. Plus you’ll want to brag to all of your friends about the gems you’ve found in their books. 

I hope you write back to let me know what you think. 

Sincerely, 

Maria Ann Green

P.S. If you have any extra time on your plate you can check out my indie books as well 🙂 you can find my newsletter here (https://mailchi.mp/393ebb516e03/mariaanngreenauthornewsletter) and my books here (https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B00GO805HK).

Guest Writer~Eve Kasey

Photo Credit~Eve Kasey

March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Lovely Readers!

I am giddy to share with you today’s guest writer.  Eve Kasey is in the house and she brought along with her some castles, kilts and a whole lot of steamy hot Scottish men.  Are we all on board now?  Kasey is the author of five contemporary literary romance novels that balances sweetness and steam, while aiming to teach readers something new. Whether it’s a new place, profession, or culture, the meticulous research that goes into her novels hopefully satisfies readers’ innate curiosity about the world. One thing that I admire and respect about Kasey is that she incorporates steam in her work. She truly believes romance novels are a platform to portray healthy relationships and attitudes towards sex, and I couldn’t agree more. 

Kasey started composing stories in childhood, both in her head and with an ancient typewriter loaded with pink paper. She writes for a design firm by day and reads independently published romance novels by night. Kasey is a Best Friend to all her fellow Indie Authors.  She uses her social platforms as a way to highlight Indie Authors and businesses, with weekly and monthly recommendations focused solely on Indie work. Eve also maintains an Indie paperback home library in which she encourages book lending. She’s also been known to leave books on doorsteps and in coffee shops as treasures for readers to find. How amazing is that?  

Kasey’s enthusiasm for books and writing makes her the perfect addition to the Guest Writer lineup.  We strive for positivity over here on Dear Mr. Hemingway.  Shining our book lights on incredible authors, a variety of genres and fabulous books is what we do best. Kasey and her book recommendation encompass all the things we cherish on DMH and I can’t wait to read the book she she is raving about today.

I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H.  I promise…it’s a good one!

Happy Reading,

Kelly

P.S.  Eve lives in Washington state with her very stylish husband, two children, and always an empty wine fridge ( I can definitely relate to the empty wine fridge ).

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

You said it best when you said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” 

You’re right. When the briefest glance at the spine can incite a smile, and the sound of fingers across familiar pages elicits a happy sigh, you’ve found a friend. These loyal companions just sit on the shelf, waiting to offer comfort, sending out a soothing message in their stillness, I’m here when you need me.

And loyal? Well, I’m an admitted re-reader. I’ll read a book until the spine crumbles. I’ll buy more copies, and even more. I’ll leave these bringers of joy on doorsteps and in coffee shops and Little Free Libraries, because we all need more friends. I need a book that loves me back just as fiercely.

A stalwart friend through the anxiety spikes, devastating news, political turmoil, loneliness, and uncertainty of the past year is Storm the Castle by Jolie Vines. Reading this book is like being wrapped in a warm hug by welcome arms.  

Storm the Castle perfectly captures the enduring magic, the necessity, of the romance genre. The book, at its core, is a celebration of human connection that though instant can still run as deep as a Scottish loch. You understand, Mr. Hemingway, the desire of your heart to reach out to another’s and tuck it safely inside your own breast. While a man or woman alone may have all the strength and know-how needed to survive, two hearts together transcend. Connection, the entwining of two elements, two souls, into one force stronger than its parts, is as old as the universe and resonates within us all. Romance peers closely at this connection and celebrates this universal truth.

Set in the Scottish Highlands of today, Storm the Castle follows a young laird through the tribulations of raising brothers into men, and the unending care of an estate and its people. These are heavy burdens on Callum’s shoulders. Heavy too are the problems on Mathilda’s mind. A wayward sister, a family in shambles, an uncertain future with divergent paths ahead. 

The two meet by chance in London. And then again. That magical spark of connection threads through them both and flows into the people around them. Worlds, families become intertwined. Callum needs help on his estate. Mathilda yearns for a job, a place of her choosing. There exists an honesty, an authenticity of emotion, shared from the inception of their relationship that is refreshing and makes for a deeper connection to the book. If only all relationships could be stripped of pretense. 

Dreamlike and buoyant, the pages brim with loyal friends and family—men you’d want by your side in battles of any kind and women who can handle with grace and grit any challenge life throws their way. We are transported into lush Scottish locales and into customs held over generations. We see glimpses of families made of more than blood. 

But, of course, no love story ever runs smoothly. Dark paths brighten, then cloud again with fog, only to find more sunshine. You will empathize with the struggles to reconcile head and heart decisions. 

Callum and Mathilda fall in love not just with who the other is, but for what they bring to those around them—loyalty, talent, drive; all traits you would admire, Mr. H. In terms of sensuality and seduction—key components of many romantic connections (yours included)—this book will leave you satisfied. Their spark burns hot, and their foundation of truth builds to giddy, gorgeous physical connection. 

On the way to their happy ending, we experience a kind of love story that offers the unique clench of emotion in your gut that comes from caring deeply for fictional friends who feel dear and real. Characters who love with abandon. People who would do anything for a friend. 

In the end, Callum and Mathilda rescue each other. Just as this book has rescued me time and again from the harsher truths of life. Truly, as you say, there is no friend more loyal than a book.

Eve

P.S. Find me (too often) on Instagram talking about more love stories! My romance novels can be found here.

Click on the book pic below to purchase!

Extreme Cover Love Happening Here!!!!!

Guest Writer~B. Ivy Woods

Photo Credit~B. Ivy Woods

March 12, 2021

Dear Voracious Readers,

I am so happy to share with you today’s Guest Writer.  Indie Author B. Ivy Woods is on the blog today and your Friday is about to get a whole lot better.  Let me start off by giving you some background information on Woods.  She has Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Environmental Policy and a Master’s Degree in Energy Policy and Law.  After working in the environmental field for several years, Woods decided to change course and become a stay at home mom.  Even though Woods has been writing for as long as she can remember, it was then that she decided to pursue a career in what she loved best.

Woods competed in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) multiple times.  It was in 2019 that she won, and her writing career took off from there.  She self-published her first novel in 2020 and since then has published five more.  With two more books on the horizon, this writer is on fire!  Although she is originally from New York City, she currently lives in the DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia) with her husband, daughter, dog, and cat. 

Be sure to follow this gem on all of her writing adventures!

Happy Reading!

Kelly

P.S.  Click on the pic below to check out Wood’s amazing books!


Dear Mr. Hemingway,

A book that I read last year that has stuck with me is By A Thread by Lucy Score. Lucy released it in 2020 and it’s a standalone novel. Given what I know about Lucy’s books, I knew I had to prep myself for an emotional ride. I was prepared to laugh, cry, and swoon, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The first thing I did when I saw that Lucy released By A Thread was make sure that my day was clear. I knew that chances were the book was probably going to be 500+ pages and I like to read Lucy’s books in one sitting if I can. The cover immediately grabbed my attention and I couldn’t wait to dive in.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that both the heroine and hero were older (late 30s-early 40s), which is not something you usually find in romance. Ally and Dominic’s sparks and fire hopped off of the page from the moment they met. Literally. Dominic gets her fired from her job and the action doesn’t stop there. The insults and sarcasm they traded throughout the book made me giggle and hooked me to the story.

The sexual tension in the story was thick and once Ally and Dominic got together, the sex scenes were blazing and didn’t disappoint. I also liked how Ally handled Dominic, outside the bedroom. She wasn’t a wallflower and called Dominic out on several of the things he did when he tried to toy around with her. I stopped reading at one point to take a moment to clap at Ally telling him off because of how he was treating her.

I loved the name Grumpy Grump Face and would have cracked up if that ended up being the title of By A Thread. But the words, by a thread, meant so much more. Yes, there is a fashion angle to the story, but the heroine was hanging on by a thread in the book because of circumstances that were beyond her control. That shook me the deeper I dove into the story.

Lucy masterfully transitions between the laugh out loud shenanigans to the heartfelt moments in the book. The strength that readers saw in Ally throughout obstacles that she had to face took the story to another dimension that I wasn’t expecting in a romantic comedy. Some of the pain that Ally felt resonated with me because I had similar events happen in my life. The scenes with Ally and her father hit home because I have seen the effects that someone with dementia can have on themselves and the people that care about them most. I cried so hard at certain scenes in the book that I had to put the book down a couple of times to compose myself before I could continue.

You don’t want to miss By A Thread!

Best Wishes,

B. Ivy Woods

P.S. I’m releasing two books this year so far. Behind the Lies and Betrayal in the Capitol will be released this spring/summer.

Click on the book pic below to purchase!

Guest Writer~Willow Winters

Photo Credit~Willow Winters

March 10, 2021

Dear Book Friends,

I am delighted to share with you today’s guest writer.  Willow Winters is on the blog today and the skies just got a whole lot sunnier.  Winters is a Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY Best Selling Author of romance books. She writes under Willow Winters and under the pen name, W. Winters for her darker and steamier works.  She is the QUEEN of steam, book boyfriends, a few bad boys and most importantly…happily ever afters.  Winters is the founder of the Big Book Lover Box, Top Shelf Romance and the charity, Live a Thousand Lives Project.    With more books published than I can count, branded merchandise for book lovers and a love for all things books and reading, Winters is an absolute gift to the book loving community.  

Winters is an inspiration to young girls and women who dream of writing one day.  During her pregnancy with her daughter, Winters voraciously read all the romance novels she could get her hands on.  In the beginning of 2016, Winters decided to put pen to paper, writing down all the stories she dreamed up each night.  Fast forward to 2021, and Winters is now a mom to three (one of them being a newborn) and living her wildest author dreams.  She has literally built her very own literary empire while “momming hard” during the day and endless writing at night.  

I hope you enjoy her gorgeous essay to Mr. Hemingway and follow her on all her romantic adventures.

Happy Reading!

Kelly 

P.S.  Check out what I had to say about one of Winters’ steamier romances RIGHT HERE!

Dear Mr. Hemingway, 

The gray clouds are staying too long and coming back too soon. I didn’t realize it at first, because we were all living through it.  But my goodness when I look back at the past year, so much of it is gray.  I have to tell you, gray has never been my color. 

They came at first with thunder and lightning; with loud booms and cracks that split the sky at night.  We all saw it, we all felt it and we took shelter.  It’s nothing we haven’t been through before, but Mr. H., it feels different now and I think it’s because of what I’ve just told you: the clouds stay too long and they come back too soon.  They’ve gotten comfortable and I’ve never been used to such settings. 

In the beginning of this past year, I looked forward to the sunny days and moments of warmth.  I craved them and braced myself during the stormy nights.  But hunkering down and waiting is tiring. It feels as if it’s stolen from me, if nothing else, my time, but I know it’s seized so much more.  It’s taken tears and sleepless nights, it’s taken the hopes of what I thought life would be and it’s morphed my expectations into something weaker and lesser than the dreams I had as a child.  Or at least it attempted to do such things, the gray clouds tried, and nearly got away with it.  Not because of the booming thunder, simply because it snuck in and stayed, like I said, for far too long. 

They almost got away with it, Mr. Hemingway.  Almost. 

The thing I’ve learned is that the clouds may come and they may stay, but I’m not alone in all of this.  We brace ourselves because it’s worked before, but maybe it’s time to stand straighter and carry on in a different way even if it seems dreary.  It’s not the absence of clouds that brought happiness before.  That’s what’s important to note.  It wasn’t because of their absence that the world – felt – brighter.  It was because we didn’t hide then.  It’s the hiding and quiet that’s driven me mad. 

Perhaps the laughter and gentle things in life should grace us always … even if there’s no sun shining down. Maybe waiting for better times and allowing the darkness to steal our days and months and even years is where we made our error.  We have forgotten that we can write letters and so much more today and as these days pass slowly yet with a blur, we are always together. 

We live in a time where we are never alone unless we want to be, which is a natural desire at times.  But it’s quite easy to spread youthful memories in vulnerable times, laughter in times of sadness.  We’ve been waiting, we’ve been quiet, and I think even in the shadows of what plagues us, we can hear the joy of celebration and we can share smiles and triumphs, so long as we remember we’re in this together.  

One thing I’ve done while hiding which has made me feel the vibrancy of others is falling into books.  My children get them every night and in the gray skies, I’d forgotten them myself.  They take me to different worlds and on adventures with celestial spheres I’ll never live under but I feel as if I know them well.  Romance has been my saving grace. Not for the knights in shining armor or for the embrace during long, cold nights.  Simply because the dark moments always happen, and yet, so does the love.  It blossoms most beautifully in the end, after weathering the violent storms.  Romance is boldly known for such endings and Mr. Hemingway, I think the world would seem less bothered by any sky at all, if a book like that were always in our laps. 

I am grateful to brace for drearier skies with plans of happily ever afters, as many as I can get my hands on.  

Please remember, we can deliver pleasant moments where often we don’t find them.  It happens so quickly too, in only seconds of our thumbs clicking away rather than twiddling amongst themselves, which, admittedly, I did in the beginning. If we lived in another time, the gray clouds may have wreaked havoc on my weaknesses, but through all of this, I have not been alone and that has saved me.  I may not have been able to hold the hands of distant friends, or kissed my lost loved ones before their sunset, but I shared smiles with them, even on the cloudy days.  

Did you know though, that the shades of grays still paint pictures in the skies and my children have found animals and stories where I used to see nothing of interest but mourning?   My daughter has learned to wear the color as if it is sunshine itself.  It’s quite a beautiful, but unexpected thing.  I must say Mr. H., she doesn’t care for weather at all, it doesn’t dictate her smile and she always looks forward to the bed time stories.  Thank goodness for that.  

Lots of love in all the days and nights, 

Willow Winters xx 

P.S. Be sure to check out my latest book below!

Guest Writer~Andrea Nourse

Photo Credit~Andrea Nourse

March 5, 2021

Dear Wonderful Readers,

I am so excited to introduce you to today’s guest writer.  Andrea Nourse is the author of four women’s fiction novels and the co-founder & co-host of the Indie Author Book Club, which I am a HUGE fan of. Andrea and her Indie Author Book Club co-host (who you will meet later on in this series) share their own experiences as Indie Authors on their podcast in addition to shining light on fellow Indie Authors. 

Andrea’s passion for writing and all things Indie is evident in her involvement in the literary community. She is completely transparent with her writing journey and is a wonderful mentor to experienced and new writers alike.   If you are looking for a fresh and exciting book club, look no further….Andrea has got you covered.  She just so happens to co-host a group discussion on a new Indie book each month.   And by the way, last month’s book selection was not only a gem, but also introduced me to a new author.  You can actually read about it HERE.  

Andrea currently lives in Nashville with her husband, Jeff, and their two children, Jackson and Annabeth. She has a BS in Mass Communication from MTSU and an MBA from the University of Memphis. When she’s not reading, writing, or Bookstagramming, she enjoys pretending to know how to bake, swooning over Chris Evans, and scrolling Netflix without ever finding something to watch.

Andrea is a beacon of light to readers and writers everywhere.  I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H.  I am looking forward to adding her book recommendation to my own TBR.  

Happy Reading,

Kelly

P.S.  Be sure to follow Andrea on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!  If you are looking for new Indie Authors to read, head on over to the Indie Author Book Club and become a member.  You will not regret it!  

P.S.  Her latest book, After Everything, gets a BIG thumbs up from me!

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I should probably start this letter with an apology. You see, I’ve never read one of your books. I am very familiar with you, but this is more so because of your famous felines and less so because of your books, which I am sure are lovely. Now, with that awkwardness out of the way, I’d like to tell you about a book that reintroduced me to the magic of fantasy novels.

Saving Ellie by Whitney R.B. was the first indie book I fell in love with. Werewolves. Found Families. Mystery. Folklore. It has all the ingredients that make a book feel like home.

When I first met Whitney and Saving Ellie, it had been years since my first foray into fantasy and werewolves, and it had been just as long since I’d picked up one that I loved just as much as the first. All of this changed when I met Ellie and Ash. I fell headfirst into their world and never wanted to leave.

Whitney’s prose is as beautiful as her characters. The words flow from the pages and bring the characters and the lore to life. Her dedication to her craft and her characters is inspiring. After releasing Saving Ellie in 2019, Whitney completely rewrote the book and re-released it in January of 2021. Imagine my thrill when I learned I’d get to meet Ellie and Ash all over again and rediscover new facets of their character and story.

I am still in the beginning of my new adventure with Ellie and Ash, but I can tell you, Mr. Hemingway, it is just as perfect and beautiful as the first time. As a lover of felines, I understand you may have reservations about exploring a book filled with werewolves, but I assure you this is a story you do not want to sleep on.

Sincerely,

Andrea Nourse

P.S. My next book, Out of Anywhere, hits shelves (virtual and some physical) on June 1, 2021!

Be sure to check out all the books below!

Guest Writer~L.A. Detwiler

Photo Credit-L.A. Detwiler

Dear beautiful readers,

Today we are kicking off the 4th Dear Mr. Hemingway Guest Writer Series. This new series is focussing on Indie Authors (writers who choose to self publish) and it is inspiring, motivating and quite frankly…pretty phenomenal. I am over the moon to have USA TODAY Best Selling author, L.A. Detwiler on the blog today. Detwiler is the author of The Widow Next Door and several other chilling page-turners including A Tortured Soul, which I really enjoyed.

During her final year at Mount Aloysius College, Detwiler started writing her first fiction novel, which was published in 2015. She has also written articles that have appeared in several women’s publications and websites. Detwiler has experienced traditional publishing and the self publishing route, which makes her perfect for this series. In addition to her thriving career as a writer, Detwiler is also a high school English teacher from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. There is no denying that I am a big fan of her work. Her books can be terrifying at times, graphic in nature and a whole lot fun. I’ve been following Detwiler on her social media handles and her website for awhile now. I love how she shares her love of books and writing with all of her fans. She is extremely down to earth and relatable and is always sharing writing tips with fellow writers. Detwiler lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad. They have five cats and a new great dane puppy named Edmund.

I hope you enjoy her letter to Mr. H. Her spine-chilling Indie book recommendation is officially added to my TBR pile.

Happy reading!

Kelly

P.S. Be sure to check out L.A. Detwiler RIGHT HERE!

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I will never look at a white transit van the same way again thanks to this book.

Sometimes a book just creeps into your soul and leaves a lasting mark—for better or worse. Turn the Other Way by Stuart James is a dark, creepy horror that caught me from page one and still hasn’t let me go. The story follows a couple as they are taken on a harrowing journey. When they see a horrific sight in the transit van in front of them in traffic, they make a split-second decision to follow it. This leads them to a farm of horrors where horrible things are happening.

I kept putting myself in Jess’s shoes throughout the story. I love her character development, and I was shouting for her so many times to… turn the other way. But when the person you love is in a precarious situation, how do you just leave? The moral questions stirred in this book really made me ask myself what I would do in the situation of the book.

The setting…wow, it’s a creepy one! The farm is a thing of nightmares, truly, and the things that happen there just add to the terribly scary atmosphere.

What I also really loved about this book besides the Stephen King feel, though, is how Stuart James works so many twists and turns into the plot. The ending is so well done! All of the different characters and storylines come together for a satisfying but really twisted ending.

I won’t give it away, but the ending scene of this book still creeps me out. All in all, Turn the Other Way is a sinister story of how our choices can lead us down dark paths. Stuart has so many other books that are equally as chilling. If you’re a fan of dark horror like Stephen King, you’ll want to also check out Stranded.

Stuart James also runs an amazing podcast full of all sorts of haunting stories and author interviews. It’s so amazing that he is so giving in the author and reader community. 

So if you want to know why I literally always think of Stuart James when I see a white van, check out Turn the Other Way or any of his amazing reads. Stuart James will be re-releasing Turn the Other Way, so be sure to look for  the newest edition soon!

All the best,

L.A. Detwiler

P.S.- If you enjoy a macabre story full of creepiness, be sure to check out my latest novel, The Redwood Asylum. It’s also got a dark setting, some twists, and will have you asking if that new job you’re taking is really a good idea…

Also, be sure to come follow me on Instagram for more creepy book recommendations @ladetwiler and give @stuartjamesauthor a follow too, for some fun updates on his podcast.

Click on this gorgeous picture to purchase Turn The Other Way by Stuart James. Photo credit-L.A. Detwiler

Guest Writer

Guest Writer Zubs Malik graphic

Zubs J. Malik
Bookstagram Bonanza Edition

Guest Writer Zubs Malik graphic

October 30, 2020

Dear Book Friends,

TGIF!!!! Today is the last day of The Dear Mr. Hemingway Guest Writers~ Bookstagram Bonanza Edition. I can’t believe how fast that went by. I am super excited to introduce you to today’s final writer…Zubs J. Malik.

Zubs is an award winning book blogger based in London and behind the account @zubscovered on Instagram. Over 20K book lovers (including me) are obsessed with her dreamy book account. Gorgeous book covers, cozy blankets, fresh flowers and awe inspiring content grace her Bookstagram page each day. Zubs loves highlighting indie authors, upcoming new releases and all the classic reads you can possibly imagine. When the going gets tough, head on over to Zubs. She is not afraid to have the hard conversations or to help her followers make sense of some of the more complicated issues surrounding us each day. She continues to bring awareness to racism, Black Lives Matter, #ownvoices, diverse reading and Covid-19 with sensitivity, dignity and grace.

Zubs lives in London with her husband and three sons (another boy mama🤗🤗). She initially embarked on a legal career but then decided to be a ‘stay at home’ mom (mum) when her first son was born in 2009. She is currently a High School/Secondary School English teacher and avid reader.

In January 2018 Zubs lost her mother and in a desperate attempt to cope with her loss she turned to books to offer her some form of escapism from her grief. With a gentle nudge from her husband towards Bookstagram, Zubscovered was born. 

“My mum always told me that there was more to me than just being a wife, a mother and a daughter. She wanted me to ‘make waves’ in the world and always encouraged me not to waste myself. When she passed away, I felt like half of my heart died with her. But her passing also pushed me to find ME and I think that was her parting gift to me.” 

When Zubs is not bookstagramming, teaching or raising babies she loves to run and cook delicious foods. In fact, she actually has stated before that she initially wanted to create a food account! She is an advocate for all things books and reading and all things good in this beautiful world. She is a true friend to all and I insist you check out her page and follow her on all of her bookish adventures.

Much Love and Reading,

Kelly

P.S. Zubs is a wicked fast reader. She typically can read a book from start to finish in under 5 hours 😮😮😮


Dear Mr Hemingway, 

It has, in fact, taken me quite some time to finally put pen to paper and write this letter to you. Living in a world with so much uncertainty and fear I needed to really think about the ‘type’ of book that I put forward.

Would I choose a book that is full of humour and offers your readers a sense of escapism? Or would I opt for a narrative that deliciously satisfies the adrenaline one feels when reading a fast-paced thriller?

But, alas, I decided against them both. All seemed somewhat irrelevant and I thought perhaps what people need to read is simply – Hope. 

That despite the improbability of our current situations, there is hope. There is always hope. We must believe it.

In a world where humans tend to make assumptions about race/religion/culture based on old news, media, preconceived notions and prejudice, books like this MUST be read. 

Bianca Marais’ If You Want to Make God Laugh, is a fictitious tale with so much heart, but also educates its readers on a medical epidemic, the thoughts and feelings of its citizens post-apartheid and introducing the reader to the beauty of the country. Not just the beauty of a nation. The beauty of its people and how our very thread is connected without us even knowing. 

I spent hours perusing post-apartheid SA and the Aid/HIV epidemic in the 90s. Did you know, Mr Hemmingway, that South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world? 7.1 million people living with HIV? Yes, nor did I. I read this book and then I researched. That’s how much it stayed with me.  

I left my heart in South Africa 11 years ago and Bianca, took me back. She opened my eyes, she showed me a world that I did not know existed and more importantly Mr Hemingway, she gave me hope.

I hope she gives you hope too.

Much love, 

Zubs 

P.S. Click on the book pic below to purchase this incredible book from your local bookstore.

If you want to make God Laugh book cover

Author Bianca Marais was also a Guest Writer for Dear Mr. Hemingway. Click Here to check out her letter.

Join my mailing list!

and never miss a blog post