Interview with romance author Bernadette Marie

My special guest today is romance author Bernadette Marie. We’re chatting about her new contemporary series Kennedy Devereaux, book 1 in the Devereaux Family Series.

During her virtual book tour, Bernadette will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty-five books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it because she lives it.

Obsessed with the art of writing and the business of publishing, chronic entrepreneur Bernadette Marie established her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, in 2011 to bring her own work to market as well as offer an opportunity for fresh voices in fiction to find a home as well.

When not immersed in the writing/publishing world, Bernadette Marie and her husband are shuffling their five hockey playing boys around town to practices and games as well as running their family business. She is a lover of a good stout craft beer and might have an unhealthy addiction to chocolate.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Kennedy Devereaux is the first book in the Devereaux Family Series. Each of the four siblings gets their own book with their name as the title. Kennedy is ultra feminine owner of Kennedy Devereaux Designs and when the handsome man next door, begins to build his business, she’s sure he’s going to run her clients off with his new tap house. But attraction is a funny thing. Sometimes it makes you forget you didn’t want to like someone—or fall in love with them.

What inspired you to write this book?
I had just finished an 11-book family saga, and was looking for a new family for readers to fall in love with. Kennedy’s store is based on one we used to have here where I live, and I’m all about femineity and pink. So she was born from the heart! Inspiration always comes from my readers, too. They are very vocal about loving the families I write, so I was excited to bring them a new one.

Excerpt from Kennedy Devereaux:
Pink doors, crystal light fixtures, white shelves. Joel cupped his hands around his eyes to get a better look at the feminine interior of the store he stood in front of. Kennedy Devereaux Designs, the lettering on the door said. Costume jewelry, purses, and a few pieces of clothing were elegantly displayed on uncluttered shelves. He could see a small sitting area toward the back of the store with white chairs on a plush pink rug.

When he stepped back from the door, he inhaled. Could he even smell the store and all of its femininity?

“Can I help you?” A soft voice had him turning to see a woman, as feminine as the store, standing behind him.

She was the smell—sweet and floral. Soft golden hair framed a delicate face, and her lipstick matched the soft pastel pink of the doors he’d been looking through. Sharp blue eyes watched him as he stared at her.

Joel Kingsley was no idiot around women, but this one seemed to render him speechless.

“We don’t open for an hour, but if you’re looking for something specific, I could help you with that,” she said as if to wake him from the trance that he’d fallen into.

“Sorry,” he said, tucking his fingers into the front pockets of his jeans. “I was just looking in the window. New to the neighborhood and wanted to check out who else was here.”

“New to the neighborhood? You just moved in?”

Joel nodded to the building next door. “New business neighbor.”

The woman looked past him to the old building which had once been the post office, then was broken down into retail businesses. They were about to reopen the space and make it grand again.

“You’re putting a business in the building next door? Which part?”

“All of it,” he said rocking back on his heels. “We’re gutting it and starting fresh. When we pulled back the dry wall on the north wall, we even uncovered all the old mailboxes. They’d just walled them up.”

Her eyes were wide. “You’ll be doing a lot of construction?”

“Of course. Ideally now is when we’d like to be opening. Spring and summer are great times for this kind of business. But permits took a lot longer to pull than we’d imagined. We’d like to be open by August at the latest, but with construction, you just never know what can happen.”

A line formed between her brows. “You’ll have crews here all day?”

And then it hit him. She was worried about what that was going to do to her business—the soft pink, feminine business that happened just beyond those doors under crystal lights. Joel looked down the street. Her neighbors included an antique shop, florist, holistic healing, and a bakery on the end cap. Something told him he was going to be met with the same lack of sensitivity from each of them as well.

But his father always taught him to keep to his convictions. He believed in what he was doing, and nothing was going to stop him. So, he was going to inconvenience people for a while, but he was also about to bring in three times the number of customers to the quaint little square.

Holding out his hand he began to introduce himself. “Joel Kingsley.”

The woman hesitantly took his hand and shook it. Her nail polish matched the door and her lipstick.

He’d expected a weak little shake, but he got a full on business handshake, and it lit something inside him.

“Kennedy Devereaux.”

Kennedy Devereaux Designs, that’s you.”

“Of course it is.”

So Cute Photo San Jose Family Photography

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am finishing the last of the Devereaux books, and then, I will pen a few Christmas romances for next year. Hopefully while I do that, inspiration will spark for a new series as well.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’d been writing since I was thirteen, but it wasn’t until 2007 when I started jumping into the literary world with both feet. I started going to conferences, taking classes, pitching, and all the good stuff. I was contracted by 2009 and in business for myself by 2011. It’s been a whirlwind of events since the moment I called myself an actual author. (Sometimes you just have to own it.)

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do write full time, and publish as well. I own a publishing house, and two other companies, as well as write full time. Writing is the first thing I do in the morning. I try to get in 2,000 words a day, at minimum, and that starts at 6am. Publishing, and other companies, take up the rest of my day. But when I’m relaxed on the couch, while my husband watches all of his shows on Alaska, I get in a few more words.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am stupid fast with typing. Like thousands of words in an hour. That’s why getting it all in early in the morning isn’t an issue. In fact, often I’m typing and reading at the same time, because the story comes out of my fingers and I’m not ever sure I actually thought about the words I was typing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
In the book we kept while I was growing up, in Kindergarten I wanted to be a beautician and a singer. Most of the other years I wanted to be a teacher. I am a cosmetologist by trade, having opened my first salon when I was twenty. I have sung at weddings. I started in education when I was in college, but soon realized that wasn’t my path. What I learned was, I wasn’t supposed to be an elementary teacher. Now I’m an industry educator, teaching many aspiring and published authors the ins and outs of independent publishing and marketing.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love interacting with my readers and encourage them to reach out to me anytime. They are the power that drives me to get up every morning and write.

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