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Mia Kay: The Irony of Home (Contest)
Sunday, March 6th, 2016

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Thank you, Delilah, for the guest blog opportunity; and hello, everyone!

I’m Mia Kay and I write … whatever comes to mind, honestly. Romantic suspense, contemporary romance, sci-fi/fantasy. If I have to pick a theme, it’s all about small towns. Small town settings or small-town people.

Which is weird because I grew up in a small town, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great town. Most of my family still lives there, a lot of my friends still do, and it routinely makes the list of “best” places to live. But I wanted to see things. I couldn’t wait to live somewhere where the tallest building was more than two stories.

And I did that. I still do that.

But when my first story came to me, it was all about a woman returning home to her small town. The second is about a woman who realizes she is “stuck” in her hometown. The third is about a woman who wants nothing more than to call a small town her permanent home. The fifth is about a woman who flees to a small town for safety.

So I obviously have some unresolved issues. More than one, actually. Because the sixth book is about a small-town girl who, despite her success, has trouble seeing herself as anything else. That opinion becomes an issue when she falls for a man she perceives to be out of her league. (Bless his heart, he does not feel the same way.)

There’s a lot to that. How many of us look in the mirror and still see the girl we used to be? How many of us go to huge cities and gawk out the windows thinking, “I can’t believe this is real”? Or how many of us meet our favorite authors and are amazed that they’re really nice people, or that they talk to us like we’re colleagues rather than awkward fans?

Or is that just me?

***Give Away*** Share your experiences below. Live in a large city and yearn for a quiet life, or vice-versa? Funny stories about meeting your favorite authors? I’ll pick one random commenter to receive an e-copy of Soft Target, my debut release. I’ll announce the winner in the comment thread tomorrow morning,

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My latest release is one of those “out of my league” moments. I’m in a western romance sampler with nine rock stars of romance. I still can’t believe it. One Night with a Cowboy is from HQN and it’s FREE from your favorite e-book retailer.

My contribution is the first five chapters of my next romantic suspense release, Hard Silence. Abby Quinn lives outside Fiddler, Idaho – in more ways than one. Her isolation is challenged by Jeff Crandall, the FBI profiler who moves in next door.

Here’s an excerpt:

Walking out onto her front porch, Abby let the door slap closed behind her as she stood and enjoyed the brisk Idaho spring morning. Past the security light illuminating the yard, the still-early lavender sky met the dark hills on the horizon.

Stretching her muscles, she winced as pain lanced from her neck down her left side. Most days she could ignore it, but she’d pushed too hard yesterday. She’d felt the muscles cramp as she’d fixed fences and then stayed at the computer, perched in her chair squinting at code until late in the evening.

And then the nightmares, and the news about Beau.

Already halfway to the stables, Toby looked over his shoulder to see if she was following. Abby swore the border collie was smiling. She could always count on her dog.

“Work. Yeah, I know,” she grumbled good-naturedly as she tramped down the steps and toward the paddock. At the outer edge of the light, she faced the darkness beyond and hesitated.

Nineteen years, sixty-nine hundred mornings, and she still gritted her teeth and held her breath when she stepped into the shadows. But she did it.

She did it again when she swung the stable doors open. Reaching around the wall, she turned on the lights before she stepped inside.

On either side of the aisle, her horses poked their heads over the stall doors, blinking under the bright lights, chuffing and huffing hellos.

“Good morning, George,” Abby whispered as she put a calming hand on the palomino’s velvety nose. “I told you I’d be back this morning.” After a year of working to earn the animal’s trust, it was rewarding look into eyes no longer hazy with disappointment. Still, the minute the gate opened, George trotted into the misty dawn, as though afraid someone would slam the door and trap her inside.

The other horse remained quiet in his stall. “Good morning, Hemingway,” Abby whispered as she stroked the giant black gelding’s nose and danced her fingers through his forelock. He was becoming such an elegant animal. “How are you, handsome? Ready to work this morning?” He dropped his head to her waiting hand. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

She forced her left arm up, ignoring the persistent pain, slipped the halter over his head and scratched his ears until he quieted. “No saddle today, I promise. Let’s get used to this first.” She opened the door but let the lead rope dangle as she walked away and let him follow. He needed to know she wouldn’t tug and pull. His clopping tread reminded her of Beau and her wobbly bike ride.

Shaking the memory free, she stood in the stable doorway. The pasture was cloaked in fog, and dew silvered the grasses not already trampled. It was like looking through a soft-focus lens. In this moment, right before sunrise, the world was fuzzy, tinted green, blue and gray. The birds chirped quiet, sleepy greetings. Hemingway froze when she picked up the rope.

“I won’t hurt you.” Abby took one step, keeping the lead slack, and waited. When the animal moved forward, she took another step. They inched through the paddock and the gate to the edge of the field.

“Good boy,” she murmured as she offered him a carrot and stroked his graceful neck. “See? No pain.”

Leaving him there, she went back into the stable only to run out when an equine scream ended canine yelps and snarls. All that remained of Hemingway were his thundering hoof beats and the waving grass.

Abby knelt next to Toby and ran her hands over him, checking him for injuries. The dog’s shame gave way to a plea for a belly rub.

“I know you want to herd him,” she scolded as she gave in and scratched his chest, “but he hates to be crowded right now.” She stood and sighed. “Let’s go get him.”

Hem’s trail was marked in the dew, and easy to follow. The tall grass swallowed Toby in a gulp, and Abby followed through the swaying fescue to the river, her bag of carrots and apples bouncing against her hip. Stepping carefully on the slick rocks, she hopped to the Simons’ pasture and continued up the hill.

“Buy” links: Amazon | B&N | Google Books

About the Author

Mia Kay is a small town girl who loves to go back to visit, but is happiest living somewhere else. She can get back quickly if her family needs her, but she’s far enough away that they don’t stop by and catch her in her pajamas until far too late on Saturday morning.

Find her at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

7 comments to “Mia Kay: The Irony of Home (Contest)”

  1. Debbie Watson
    · March 6th, 2016 at 11:00 am · Link

    I’ve lived in a small town all my life.

  2. DebraG
    · March 6th, 2016 at 11:56 am · Link

    I have lived in many different areas. I was raised on Army posts. I have only had one opportunity to meet authors at a book signing. I had a lot of fun.

  3. Mia Kay
    · March 6th, 2016 at 6:18 pm · Link

    Debbie – thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  4. Mia Kay
    · March 6th, 2016 at 6:20 pm · Link

    Debra – thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’ve always had a great time at book signings, too! It gives me a wonderful opportunity to find “new to me” authors. And one of my new heros is an Army kid. 🙂

  5. Pat Freely
    · March 6th, 2016 at 11:47 pm · Link

    Lived in big city most of my life. Always wanted to live in a small town. Have enjoyed meeting authors at signings and of course taking pictures.

  6. Mia Kay
    · March 7th, 2016 at 8:27 am · Link

    Hi, Pat! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I remember being in New York last year, watching couples with children, and wondering at how cool – and sort of strange – it would be to grow up in a city that large.

  7. Mia Kay
    · March 7th, 2016 at 3:08 pm · Link

    *** Contest results *** Debbie Watson, you’ve won a copy of Soft Target. Congratulations! Please email me at mia (at) authormiakay (dot) com with your email address and what format you’d prefer (Kindle, Nook, etc.), and I’ll forward it along to you.

    I hope you enjoy it!


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