Happy Memorial Day everyone – hope you’ve taken some time to remember those who have given their lives so others might live.
Today we have Mia Downing with us. She’s a talented romance author with a great sense of style and a wicked sense of humor. She started creating heroes at age four, but her heroes back then rode ponies to rescue those in need and only kissed her on the cheek. Today, Mia’s heroes still rescue those in need, but the price of their toys and the expertise of their seduction leads to a whole lot more.
When Mia isn’t busy creating new stories for her readers, she ensures justice runs smoothly in a New England courthouse. She also lives on a small farm with her family and enjoys horses and knitting.
But enough from me; let’s hear from her!
Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A. I wrote my first book in fourth grade when I didn’t like how Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien ended. So I wrote a sequel in a notebook. I think I wrote forty pages! I then began my first romance novel in a college creative writing class. It was all downhill from there.
Q. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
A. My ideas come from all sorts of places. The idea for Chasing Time started as a writing prompt for a Goodreads group. I ended up abandoning the original premise, but I liked the world I built by saying, “What if?” That’s probably the most normal book idea. The rest have come from scenes that might spark when I hear a song. I had a full book idea come from a dream as well.
Q. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
MD M D Watercolor Letter Logo Design with Circular Shape and Pastel Pink Brush.
A. I would say my writing process isn’t conventional, but I’ve discovered a lot of writers who write the same way. I don’t write scenes in order. I write what comes to me, and then I might move things around as it fits. I usually write the beginning and then the ending, and then I fill in the middle with those random scenes. It means the middle of the book is never saggy!
Q. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
A. I think every writer needs to have something they want to learn from each book. For example, in my first book, Exceeding Boundaries, I just wanted to string conflict through a book and have it work. In Chasing Time, I am learning about worldbuilding. Though the story is contemporary, there is a light magical element and a whole new world that my hero, Marek Young, brings with him through time travel. It’s been invigorating.
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Q. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
A. I do! They usually want reimbursement for the boxes of tissues they went through when reading my books. I write a lot of conflict and tortured characters. It’s always a happy ending, but the road to it is paved with tears I guess!
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
A. A good story has compelling, conflicted characters who are tossed into situations that change their lives. At first, that change may not be for the better, but I always write a happy ending, so eventually, they get their bliss.
Q. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
A. I do write under a pseudonym. I worked with kids as a riding instructor when I first published. I didn’t want them seeking out my books. I don’t believe in censorship, but there’s a line between what you like to read and being interested in someone’s work. I do have a short story under my real name that is PG-13 and they could read if they were into romance.
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Q. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
A. I would tell myself that my process is my process, and it’s perfectly okay. I don’t write a rough draft. I write and edit and revise as I go, because that’s what works. I don’t plot heavily, but I do know the characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts and how the story ends. It works for me, and I need to embrace that and not look at someone else’s word count and be jealous.
Q. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A. Probably buying Scrivener, which is a writing program. It’s incredibly cheap at under $50. I write out of order, and with the way it’s set up, I can move scenes around and label them easier than in Word. I also know what the word count of each scene or chapter is, and I can sort of hit targets for appropriate length easier. I can make notes right in the program so I can go back and research, or I can quickly look up a name I need. Buying it changes how I wrote in that it validated my process and made it easier.
Q. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?
A. I have a herd of turtles on the base of my monitor, and I have a little section on my desk dedicated to sloths. I don’t know what that says about me since neither are very lively creatures.
Q. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
A. So many. Pre-publication, I wrote 2 full novels and about 4 or 5 partials that will never see the light of day. They were learning books. It’s like making a cake. The first cake I ever made probably sucked. It was dry, I forgot the vanilla, and it was burnt. Writing is a craft that takes time to learn just like anything else, so when you sell that book, it’s absolute perfection.
Post-publication, I have 3 that are unfinished for various reasons and may not be published due to market changes. I have one idea that I might work on this year.
Thank you for coming by!
But wait, there’s more! Keep reading for a sample from Chasing Time!
Chasing Time: Bonded Souls Book One
By Mia Downing
Skye Worthington’s quest for the truth brings more than she bargained for…
My already turbulent life flips upside down the moment Marek Young appears. Nightmares from my edge into sexy dreams of a man in leather pants who gives me what no other man has. As Marek is an important client at the bookstore where I work, I can’t say no when he asks me to dinner. I didn’t expect the pull of desire or the sizzle of familiar energy the first time we touched, but I need more than satisfaction. I need the truth. Yet the truth he offers seems too bizarre to believe…
One fated jump through time destroyed Marek Young’s life…
I have only one mission—make my wife love me again. Except the aloof bookstore clerk and grad student has no recollection of me. An emergency jump through time left Skye to grow up in this era with no memory of our adventures…or me. Unfortunately, she’s always had a temper. My time is running out, but if she discovers what I did to strand us here, she’ll kill me anyway.
Chasing Time is the first book in the exciting Bonded Souls series. This is a gut-wrenching, second chance romance with a spark of magic by Mia Downing. Jump into this magical new world today!
Mia Downing’s Bio
Mia Downing started creating heroes at age four, but her heroes back then rode ponies to the rescue and only kissed her on the cheek. Today, Mia’s heroes still rescue those in need, but the price of their toys and the expertise of their seduction leads to a whole lot more.
When Mia isn’t busy creating new stories for her readers, she ensures justice runs smoothly in a New England courthouse. She lives on a small farm with her family and enjoys horses and knitting.
Connect with Mia Downing on social media!
All Retailers: https://books2read.com/ap/8YEWm8/Mia-Downing
Excerpts for Chasing Time: Bonded Souls Book One
Why the hell did he bother me so much? The stranger had been standing across the street in front of the bakery for about twenty minutes, drinking something hot from a take-out cup. His coat collar was pulled up to ward off the chill of the autumn morning, the dark, woolen fabric partially obscuring his face and making it hard to tell where the fabric began and his dark hair ended. The longer length of the coat also hid the cut of his pants, though I could tell they weren’t jeans. They were probably nice, like something someone would wear to work or a funeral.
I couldn’t concentrate on the invoice on the counter without my gaze drifting out the big bow window of the bookstore to find him again. I tapped my pencil and stared like a nosy teen when I was a grown-ass woman with my chin in my hand as he sipped.
“Paging Skye Worthington.”
I jumped at the sound of my name and turned. My co-worker and best friend, Grace Marin, stood at the end of the front desk with a box under her arm. She snapped a bubble and sucked the gum back between her glossy, blood-red lips. “I called your name three times. What the hell are you staring at?”
I brushed the hair from my eyes, hiding the blush of embarrassment heating my cheeks. “Some guy, loitering outside the bakery.”
I shook my head. “It’s the off-season, and he’s outside the bakery instead of the ice cream parlor.”
“Different stokes and all.” Grace set the box down on the counter. “Is he cute?”
“Does it matter? Guys who stand on a corner like that are digging for dirt on someone or are wanting to sell something—probably illegal somethings.”
“You’re so jaded.” She joined me in peering at the stranger. “Oh, yeah.” She snapped her gum with delighted emphasis. “He’s eye-candy.”
“How can you tell? His coat hides everything.” I glanced again, still unable to gauge if he was attractive or not by Grace’s standards. I shrugged. “You know him?”
“You don’t?” Her black brows shot up, becoming lost in the thick fringe of her blood-red bangs.
“Well, you should. That’s Marek Young.”
Now my brows shot up, and I stared again as if my efforts would reveal something new. Marek Young was the bookstore’s biggest client. He was an author and researched historical finds and artifacts, so his love for maps and books doubled as a work investment.
“Are you sure?” I frowned. “From the emails I get, Mr. Young should be sixty with a receding hairline.”
“You and your snap judgments. He’s like, thirty.” Grace’s gum popped again. “I can’t believe you haven’t met him. You buy his books for him. He’s in here all the time.”
“Not when I work, I guess.” I shrugged. “Does he do that often? Hang out in front of the bakery?”
“No. I’ve seen him a few times at the diner, though.”
“When does he come in here?”
“Monday mornings and Saturday mornings. He comes in, gets whatever he ordered, and leaves. He doesn’t even browse much, but he’s fun to talk with.”
“Well, that explains why I haven’t met him.” My day off was Monday, and I didn’t work until Saturday afternoon.
Grace snapped her gum again and leaned her elbows on the counter. “He’s hot, though. Deep-blue eyes, and he has this rakish, pirate look about him. I can’t wait for that hair to grow so he can put that wavy hair in a man bun.”
I wrinkled my nose. “I don’t think pirates had man buns.”
“Hey, the library has that painting of Lofty Blue, and he’s got something damn close going on under his hat.”
Lofty Blue was the pirate fabled to have lived out his days in our little coastal town of Freedomeville, Maine. Known to his family and friends as Lofton Burke, he had been given the ridiculous nickname for his love of the color.
Grace nudged me aside and called up the customer order screen on the computer. “Funny. Mr. Young doesn’t have an order waiting.”
“So he’s just loitering.”
“I guess. Maybe you should go over and get us coffee and those donuts Mr. Dexter likes. Say hi to Mr. Young on your way. Introduce yourself as his buyer.”
I shot her a look of disgust and bumped my hip against hers to get her to move. “I have to finish this invoice.”
The unease I’d felt at first seeing him grew to something bigger, the dislike even more palpable, something I could almost taste on my tongue. Unfortunately, that unease mixed with an odd heat of desire that tingled along my skin.
I glared out the window at his lean, dark form. “Leave already.”
“Okay, okay. I know when I’m not wanted,” Grace said.
“No, I meant him.”
Grace flipped me off as she retreated to the back of the store.
First Kiss Excerpt
Marek’s slippered feet came into view, and his hand tucked under my chin to draw my gaze back to his dark-blue eyes. “I’m going to claim my kiss now, to make you feel better.”
“What?” My mouth went dry while my brain panicked.
His thumb swept over my cheek, but his fingers held my chin firmly. “Shh… One, closed-mouth kiss. No tongue, no groping. I know the rules. Remember, no cons to this.”
Before I could protest, his mouth drew closer, and his lashes fluttered closed. As his lips touched mine, I snapped my eyes shut. Most kisses started with a blast of unfamiliar energy that bombarded my senses. His lips held nothing more than a tiny but enjoyable shock as they slanted for a better angle.
Before I could begin to enjoy it, the pressure lightened, and he gently lifted, dropping a small kiss to the tip of my nose.
I opened my eyes to find his crinkling at the corners as he smiled.
“There. That’s out of the way,” he said, his voice a little hoarse.
My hand fluttered to my throat as his hand slid to cup my cheek, his thumb brushing my jawbone. I should be jerking away from him, but instead, I leaned into that slight touch. “Thank goodness.”
“We wouldn’t want to be tempted to do that again.”
“No,” I agreed, though every cell in my body ached for more. How could I get another taste of him without looking desperate? “But if you had to, you could petition for a second kiss.”
His mouth quirked at the opportunity. “Oh, I didn’t realize that was a thing. Well, consider yourself petitioned. What are the rules?”
Rules… For some reason, the mention of rules sparked a blurred memory of a closet and a man’s lips on my neck as he stroked his fingers deep inside me. My smoldering insides burst into flames, and all rational thought went up in a trail of smoke. I wet my dry lips with the tip of my tongue, and his gaze dropped to follow the subtle movement.
“Uh.” Think, think. “What if the second one lasted a little longer…”
“Oh?” His breath blew across my cheek, tickling the skin.
“And maybe…a little tongue the next time.” I bet he wouldn’t ram his tongue down my throat like other guys. No, it’d be like a slow, gentle dance that got dirtier as the drinks got stronger. I hadn’t had that, but I’d seen it in movies.
“Groping?” His thumb brushed over my bottom lip suggestively.
A thousand tiny shocks of pleasure raced along my skin. God, yes. “No groping.”
He nodded as if considering that kiss. “What about kiss three? I’m petitioning for kiss three, too. There should be a lot of tongue and groping at kiss three.”
I’d never wanted a third kiss so badly before, but I couldn’t give in that easily. “We’ll have to see. It’s a surprise.”
He dropped another kiss on my nose and stepped away. “Surprise is my middle name.”