Thursday, December 17, 2015

Aloha tp Melinda Curtis and A MEMORY AWAY - Author interview and giveaway


I recently spotlighted Melinda Curtis' A MEMORY AWAY.  I was intrigued by her bio, so I invited her for an interview. From her website bio,

Although Melinda has lived in Georgia and Texas, she's a California girl at heart. Her earliest memories are of life on an isolated 50-acre sheep ranch in rural Sonoma County, California. Picture rolling hills covered in brown grass, a eucalyptus forest, a long gravel driveway lined with plump sheep and no sidewalks. It was a big deal to drive into town on a one-lane road in a ramshackle, bubble-fendered pickup for an ice cream.

Flash forward to this century. Melinda lives in California's hot central valley with her husband - her basketball playing college sweetheart. With three kids the couple has done the soccer thing, the karate thing, the dance thing, the Little League thing and, of course, the basketball thing.

Learn more about Melinda and her books at

Maui beach with Lanai in the distance

Kim:  You mentioned Maui in your guest post (link).  What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of the Valley Isle?

Melinda: Anyone who has experienced finer dining at Maui has to say Mama's Fish House is where you go for outdoor dining, a beautiful lagoon, fantastic food and great drinks. You'll see bridal parties getting their pictures taken at the lagoon, famous faces, and other vacationers in flip-flops. This is what Maui is to me - a combination of come as you are relaxation in a beautiful setting.

Kim:  Who or what helped you along the path to publishing?

Melinda:  Paula Eykelhof at Harlequin put up with, mentored me until publication. I submitted to her for two years, accepted her feedback and made changes until she bought my first book for Harlequin Superromance. Never underestimate the power of being easy to work with and able to take direction if you want to pursue a career in traditional publishing.

Kim:  What inspired the Harmony Valley series and A MEMORY AWAY?

Melinda:  I was born in a small, isolated Northern California town, so I feel very comfortable setting stories in small worlds. But what gives Harmony Valley heart are its elderly residents. More than a decade ago, the mill blew up, jobs dried up, and everyone but the retired moved out of Harmony Valley. What could be more fun than a town of old people who are welcoming (or not) the younger generation moving back to town? My parents are 90 and their friends are the inspiration for many of the characters in the series. My dad has been known to get up in the middle of the night and drive to Jack in the Box for tacos wearing his long johns. A few years back, my mom promised not to drive, but refused to sell her car. She had two walkers - one in the car which we used when we drove her places and one she used around the house. My brother came to visit one day and found the car gone but the house walker next to the driveway. Mom had escaped! It's that kind of independence and pride that make Harmony Valley characters so much fun!

A Memory Away was created on a dare from Harlequin Heartwarming senior editor Victoria Curran. I was pitching new stories for the series and mentioned an idea for amnesia. She said she hadn't seen the trope done well recently. A couple of drinks later (did I mention this was in a bar?) I had a story. It's the first series book of mine that Harlequin as categorized as romantic comedy. I think Victoria owes me a drink.

'Iao Valley, Maui

Mahalo, Melinda, for sharing Maui and small towns with us!  I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash.  To enter the giveaway,

1.   Do you have a favorite "valley" - Maui is home to the 'Iao Valley, a sacred place with pristine beauty.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 19, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 20.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Waterfalls along the Road to Hana, Maui


  1. I like visiting the Shenandoah Valley, then driving up into the mountains above it.

  2. I really do have a favorite valley.

  3. The beautiful Napa Valley in California is my favorite. It is a wonderful vacation spot.

  4. No favorite valleys. I live up on a massive plateau - no valleys to speak of.

  5. No favorite valleys. I live up on a massive plateau - no valleys to speak of.

  6. I don't have a favorite but Ioa valkey looks beautiful!!

  7. I don't have a favorite valley :(

  8. No favorite valleys - difficult to find where I live.

  9. No favorite valley for me....where I live there is none.

  10. The Shenandoah Valley is my favorite.

  11. No favorites, by PA has some nice ones.

  12. I love Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park.

  13. No real valleys in my area, but I do love visiting various ones during the spring, summer and fall. But not winter. I don't do snow if given the choice. ;-)

  14. I do not! I'm not even aware of any here, sadly.