I’ve had 30 titles published since 2006. My work has been nominated for a RITA and RT’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. One of my books even made it into the 2010 Best of PEOPLE magazine! I’ve been blessed with a loyal readership, fabulous reviews and wonderful relationships with my editors and my agent. I’m a lucky girl and I know it.

So why did I decide to change from writing sensual historicals to much sweeter contemporary stories?

It didn’t happen quickly. A couple of years ago, while I was still happily writing historicals for multiple publishers, I started noodling around with a contemporary set in a fictional town in the green hills of the Ozarks. I was living in an urban area at the time and really missing my small town roots. Maybe that’s why I fell in love with my own creation–Coldwater Cove, a place that’s a cross between Lake Woebegone and Mayberry! Then the troop of characters that lived there began clamoring for me to tell their stories.

When I sent the first 3 chapters to my agent, she warned me that this was a HUGE departure from my previous writing. Not only was The Coldwater Warm Hearts Club set in today’s world after I’d made my name writing historicals, this new story read like a completely different voice. And it was wholesome enough to read aloud with your Sunday School class. Not that this series is exclusively for the Christian market. It’s not. The Coldwater Cove stories are sweet romance/women’s fiction in the spirit of Debbie Macomber and Kristan Higgins. But I’m not hindered from letting my characters explore the spiritual side of their lives. My characters are flawed. They wouldn’t be realistic if they weren’t. They’ve made mistakes and will probably make a lot more, but they’re working on it.

Because the bedroom door remains closed in these books, I could spend more time exploring other aspects of my characters’ lives. The romantic relationship isn’t the only one that has a growth arc. I also write about friendships and  relationships between adult children and their parents. In The Coldwater Warm Hearts Club, I take on veterans’ issues—not just my hero dealing with his PTSD and the loss of his leg, but also how a community of faith and hope comes together to help a homeless Viet Nam vet find his way back into society.  And eventually, in coming books, to a restoration of his broken marriage and into a relationship with God.

When I wrote as Mia, my personal rule was that every scene in my stories had to either deepen the character or advance the plot, preferably both, including any love scenes. However, even with those guidelines, I felt conflicted about my writing. Since I’m a Christian, it was a tension I couldn’t continue to ignore. I thought I could ease that tension by sneaking spiritual themes into my books. I wrote several faith conversions in my historical novels, even though one of my editors said I was in danger of giving my readers whiplash. I’m especially proud of Once Upon a Plaid (Kensington, October 2014), a book set in 16th century Scotland about a married couple who are childless in an age when a man needs an heir like he needs his sword arm. Not only are Kat and William trying to save their marriage after losing a stillborn son and several failed pregnancies, William has to deal with his anger and bitterness toward God. He finally realizes that God understands exactly how he feels, because He too watched His Son die.

But even though I was able to slip a good bit of faith into my historicals over the years, I grew more convicted about my writing and knew I needed to take it in a different direction. One of the many good things about being a Christian is that God gives us a do-over when we need one.

And I needed one.

the coldwater warm hearts club I turned down a request for more historicals from one of my other publishers, and told my agent to go ahead and send the first 3 chapters of The Coldwater Warm Hearts Club to my editor at Kensington. She and I have formed a solid working relationship over the years, and I hoped to keep it going. Fortunately, she loved my new voice and the Coldwater Cove series is off and running.

We are physical, emotional and spiritual beings. I write about life and that involves so much more than physical. Moving to writing my sweeter Coldwater Cove series has been very freeing. I love these stories, and I’m very glad to have turned this page in my writing career.

Please don’t think I’ve become anti-sex. Not at all. After all, it was God’s idea in the first place and the Bible is very frank in its discussion of sex of all sorts. I don’t judge what anyone reads.But as it always has been in this business, I can only control what I write. And I choose to write about the kind of folks you might meet in the grocery store line, in your kid’s PTA, or in the mirror each morning.

Life is hysterical. It’s both sadder and sweeter than we realize. It can beat us down to a nubbin’ and lift us up to dizzying heights. The only constant is change, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better than we ever imagined. This is the latest chapter in my life and I’d love for you to come along for the ride.

Thank you for reading my books.Truly. It means the world to me when someone chooses to spend hours of their life with me and my imaginary friends. If you enjoyed my writing as Mia, I hope you’ll give my Lexi Eddings books a try.

I promise I’ll make you laugh, I’ll make you cry, and I’ll always give you a happy ending.

THE MADNESS OF LORD WESTFALL smallThe release of The Madness of Lord Westfall is almost upon us! I love this story and freely confess that Pierce Langdon is my favorite hero to date. Hope you’ll love him too. 

Readers always want to know what a book is about before they commit several hours of their lives to the story, so let me give you a few insights. And since brevity is the soul of wit, I’ll use as few words as possible.

The Madness of Lord Westfall premise in one line:

When Pierce Langdon, Lord Westfall fell from an oak tree as a boy, the accident so rattled his brain, it left him hearing voices. Now he’s fallen again…this time for a totally unsuitable woman! 

(Ok, that was two lines, but you get the idea.)

Which came first? Plot, premise or people?

My hero came first. We first meet Pierce in The Curse of Lord Stanstead (Book One in the series). He’s both strong and vulnerable, funny without meaning to be and once he gives his heart, it stays given. I couldn’t wait to write his story. Who wouldn’t be fascinated by a guy who’s spent time confined to Bedlam?

What do I love about The Madness of Lord Westfall?

Other than my hero? The theme of redemption and the way love binds up the hurts of our pasts and makes us whole speaks to me. I hope it’ll speak to you too.

My favorite advances review quote:

I’m thrilled to share that there have been lots of terrific ones, but one of my favs was the review with a 5 star rating from a Goodreads reader:

“I never thought I would start with this sentence… I fell for a man who has been in a prisoner in Bedlam. But when you read this wonderful tale you will too.”

The Madness of Lord Westfall is the second in the Order of the MUSE series, but the early reviews say it reads like a stand-alone. But the review that really matters is yours. Please let me know what you think.

Happy reading!

Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo


Order of the MUSE

His Grace, the Duke of Camden, has recruited (some say coerced) gifted individuals from all strata of society to join his Metaphysical Union of Sensory Extraordinaires. Their purpose is to protect the Crown from arcane weapons of a psychic bent. The duke fears that one such malicious object may have slipped by them and is responsible for King George III’s periodic descents into lunacy. There may be no help for His Majesty, but Camden intends to see that a similar fate doesn’t overcome “Prinny,” the Prince of Wales.

Meet the M.U.S.E.s

Cassandra Darkin—Debutante, second daughter of Sir Henry Darkin, and an unwitting fire mage. Cassie must deal with losing her first love, and possibly her place in society if it becomes known that she’s the one who accidentally set the fire at Almack’s. Her newly manifested psychic ability terrifies her even more than the prospect of spinsterhood.

The curse of Lord StansteadGarret Sterling—Nephew and heir apparent to the Earl of Stanstead. Garret is able to implant a thought in another’s mind with such seductive force, his suggestions are irresistible. Usually. Cassandra Darkin seems oblivious to his gift, which makes the fact that the duke has asked him to help her control her accidental fire-starting a difficult assignment. Garret is a libertine who carouses to avoid sleep because his nightmares have the bad habit of becoming someone else’s waking reality. Garret avoids caring about people because that might mean they’ll steal into his dangerous dreams.

Edward St. James, Duke of Camden—Founder of the Order of the M.U.S.E., Camden is the protector and mentor of those who display unusual sensory and metaphysical gifts. In addition to safeguarding the Crown from psychic attack, he’s searching for a way to make contact with his deceased wife. He’s exhausted all natural means of investigating the mysterious deaths of Mercedes and his infant son. Now he has turned to the supernatural.

Vesta LaMotte—Top-tier courtesan who is also a fire mage. She’s called in to educate Cassandra in the ways of her gift…and the ways of men. She and the widowed Camden have had an on-again, off-again “arrangement” for years.

Pierce Langdon, Viscount Westfall—a telepath whose skills are the mirror image of Garret Sterling’s. If Sterling is the universal dispenser of unwanted thoughts, Westfall is the universal receiver of everything rattling around in the heads of others. Unfortunately, he hasn’t learned to filter anything out. Because of his propensity to “hear voices,” Westfall was only recently released from Bedlam on the condition that the Duke of Camden be responsible for him should his “voices” urge him to violence.

Meg Anthony—a former ladies’ maid and a psychic “Finder.” Her ability to locate misplaced items and people is uncanny, but not without danger to her, a fact she tries to hide. She’s in awe of the Duke of Camden and fears disappointing him if she can’t learn to act the part of a proper lady instead of a domestic. She hides the truth of her parentage because she’s on the run from her uncle who used her abilities for profit and to ruin others.

Want to read the first chapter?