Nina Crespo Presents: Book Magic with Kate Meader

Nina: I’m thrilled to introduce you to Kate Meader. Readers fall in love with her steamy hot alpha heroes and often wish the story they’re diving into would never end. Good news is she has a line up of romance books for us to discover with more on the horizon.

Nina: Is there a talisman or something habitual that keeps you motivated or on task with your writing?

Kate: FONE (Fear of Not Eating). This hugely powerful motivator demands that I keep my butt in chair, hands on keyboard. Okay, just kidding – sort of. While paying my grocery bill definitely keeps me on task, I find that the carrot works better than the stick. I try to do 45-50 minute bursts than allow myself 10 minutes to check in on social media or 20-25 minutes to watch an episode of a comedy. This reward system works for me (mostly).

Nina: What is your favorite food or beverage reward while writing or for finishing a book?

Kate: While writing, I drink a lot of tea (Earl Grey, hot). I’m an Irish girl, after all.

Nina: How do romance novels bring magic to the world?

Nothing beats the roller coaster of feels induced by a romance novel, especially if it can combine funny with heart-wrenching emotion. While reading in a romance novel, we become imbued with its peculiar and special magic. In times like this, we can all do with a little magic.

About the Book

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

Excerpt

“You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”

“Do you remember what I told you in Boston, DuPre?”

“Somethin’ about needin’ me to instill leadership and help these boys get to the playoffs.” Warm honey flowed through her veins at the timbre of his voice.

“I did say that. I meant it. And I thought you understood.”

He rubbed his chin, the scrape against stubble delicious to her ears. All he was missing was a Stetson, a blade of grass, and some flighty piece in a cropped tank and Daisy Dukes. “I understood the words because you’d put them together in a highly entertainin’ way, and to certain ears, they might make sense. Then I told you what needed to happen to ensure my cooperation.”

This nonsense stopped here. “Is that why you’re playing like you can barely walk, much less skate? What’s wrong, old man? Feeling a touch of arthritis in your joints?”

For a brief moment, she thought she might have found his weakness: vanity. But no. He merely threaded his arms over his chest—over the Rebels logo of a big C with a hockey stick and a cutlass crossed behind it—and cocked his head.

“You’re gonna have to use a little more finesse, Harper.”

More surprising than the fact Remy had used the word finesse correctly in a sentence was that he didn’t seem annoyed with her. He seemed . . . amused. As if she were a toy he could happily bat around like a kitten would a semiconscious mouse.

Applause sounded, signifying the beginning of the final period. Neither of them moved, hands metaphorically hovering at their hips like Old West gunfighters.

“The trade deadline,” she said, feeling livid and helpless. “Give me that.”

“The all-star game.”

Three months. The all-star game, held in late January, was traditionally viewed as the halfway point of the season. On the cusp of the busy trade period, it led into a month of bartering and haggling as everyone lined up their teams for the big push to the playoffs.

At her hesitation, he leaned in, those cobalt blues flashing. It wasn’t enough to unholster her gun; she should have already taken her shot, and that delay was her undoing.

“Would you rather three months of my full effort or a whole season of my skatin’ like I’m playin’ squirt hockey?”

“You can’t seriously be reducing this to a game of ‘would you rather’?”

His voice dropped to an intimate tone. “If you shake on it now, I’ll begin that full effort tonight.”

The siren blared in the distance, followed by the home crowd’s roar. Five zip. Harper didn’t enjoy being blackmailed, but she enjoyed losing even less.

She thrust her hand forward impatiently. He took it in his firm grasp. That electricity setting her skin aflame was her body telling her she’d made the right decision. Nothing else.

“You have a game to finish.”

He held on, and now he inclined his head so close she could count each and every one of those pretty-boy eyelashes. Her pulse rate spiked, and she was certain he could sense it. Sense her heart thumping rabbit kicks, her vein pulsing in her throat.

“We’ve shaken on it now, minou, so don’t you dare think about welshing. I might sound like I spend my spare time spitballin’ from the rockin’ chair on my porch, but don’t let my accent fool you none. I’m not the kind of man you want for an enemy. We clear?”

She might have rolled her eyes if she wasn’t just a wee bit impressed by his chutzpah. Still, he needed to be informed that while he might have won this battle, the war was far from over.

“Try not to trip on your way to the rink, DuPre.”

He laughed, deep and robust, clearly delighted with himself. Idiot. His thumb pressed against her inner wrist, and a crackle of energy leeched from him into her body.

“You feel that, Harper?”

She snatched back her hand. “If you mean my goodwill evaporating with every second you’re standing here, then, yeah, I feel it.”

“I think we’re havin’ a thing.”

They were. Oh, God, they were. “Why are you still here again?”

His mouth curved. “Lady, I got the distinct feelin’ these next few months are gonna be fun.”

He picked up his stick and, with more grace than a six-foot-two brute wearing skates on dry land should possess, he left the locker room.

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About the Author

Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

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Book Magic

Last week, my husband gave me one of my favorite things. A really cool notebook with fantastic affirmations on the cover. As I mentioned in my Facebook post, I hugged it and maybe I squealed a little with happiness. I couldn’t help it. The phrases jumped out at me. Write Your story. Dream Big. Follow Your Heart. Love Freely. Make It Happen.

The affirmations resonate as I think of life and my aspirations. Seven years ago, becoming a romance author was the big dream that captivated my heart. It’s been an adventure with twists and turns, but I couldn’t imagine anything different.

As I think of the characters I’m writing about in my upcoming new book FORGET YOU (The Kingman Brothers, Book 1), these positive declarations about life and living also hold true. My hero learns to write his own story and not compare himself to the past. My heroine discovers the importance of believing in herself. In the end, they follow their hearts and choose love. The relatable dreams, wishes, and wants characters encounter in books is part of what makes reading about them a magical experience. We can lose ourselves in their adventures, complications, and successes and perhaps gain more courage to embrace our own.

During the month of September, Michele Arris, Tif Marcelo, and Kate Meader will share how they create the wonderful magic in their stories. Visit Nocturnal Nina blog each week. Read their answers. Discover their fantastic new books. Add some fun and enchantment to your day. Play and dream in the world of happily ever after.

xoxo Nina