Author Petie McCarty — an author worth discovering! She graciously joins our blog talking about her writing.

Petie McCartyAbout Petie McCarty

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-elements-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Find Petie online at:


I’m so pleased to have you join us.  Writing and reading are my favorite pastimes and I love to have the chance to meet and discuss authors’ work.  Let’s get started Petie!

Please tell us a bit about your new release. 

I’d love to, but first let me thank you for allowing me to spend time with your Booktalk with Eileen readers today. Betting on Cinderella was released on October 18th and is book two in my series: The Cinderella Romances…fall in love with the fairy tale all over again. Although Betting on Cinderella is my seventh release, it is my very first sequel, with Garrett Tucker returning from Cinderella Busted for his own story.

Cinderella Busted (Cinderella Romances, #1)Betting on Cinderella (Cinderella Romances, #2)

I had never considered writing a sequel until my editor and I were exchanging edits for Cinderella Busted, and she asked me if I was working on Garrett’s story. The coincidence here is that I happened to be on one of our many vacations to Biloxi when I received her email. The wheels immediately started to turn.

I looked out of our high-rise window at the Beau Rivage and thought, I need a Prince for this story, so why not have Garrett inherit his grandfather’s casino empire and become the “Prince of Vegas?” That way I could bring him right there to Biloxi, a place I knew well.


Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

With a colorful supporting cast, Betting on Cinderella provides scene-to-scene suspense that will have you rooting for the delightfully “flawed” hero and heroine both.


What’s coming next, or what are you working on now?

 I am close to completing Par for Cinderella, book three in the Cinderella series. Aidan Cross had a big part in the first two books of the series, and now he returns for his own story—he visits quaint Cypress Key where he intends to build one of his world-famous golf resorts that no one in the small town wants.

I have also just finished final galley edits for Duke du Jour. In this historical time-travel romance—to be released by The Wild Rose Press—the present-day thirteenth Duke of Reston falls into an eerie, abandoned fountain in an overgrown section of his ancestral estate and wakes up in regency England in 1816, where he is immediately mistaken for his namesake and great-great-and-so-on grandfather, the seventh Duke of Reston, who has been missing since the battle of Waterloo. I haven’t had this much fun writing a story since Catch of the Day. This will be Book One of my new Lords in Time series. So you can see I manage to stay busy


If you could be any character in any fairy tale, who would you be and why?

I would love to be the fairy godmother in Cinderella. Heck, I do feel a bit like her already since I managed to write Lily Foster right into Rhett Buchanan’s arms in Cinderella Busted, even without the prop of the glass slippers.

Or, I would want to be Flora, Fauna, or Merryweather in Sleeping Beauty—more fairy godmothers who give true love a swift kick to help it along. Can you tell I used to work for The Walt Disney Company?  *grin*


Is Cinderella one of your favorite fairy tales?

Of course! Though Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite. Of all the Disney princesses, Cinderella is everyone’s hands-down favorite—regardless of age—and always has been. Yes, even middle-aged women visit the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique at Walt Disney World. *grin* So, it came as no surprise to me when the Cinderella Busted movie popped into my head.


Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?

Absolutely.  *chuckle* Everything that happened to Kayli Heddon in Everglades—the bug storm, the gators, the snakes, the palmetto bugs, doing doughnuts in an airboat—all happened to me while working in the field at some time in my career.


Do you have a favorite character you have written?

Skye Landers, the hunky airboat guide/hero from Everglades is my favorite. In my head, Skye looked like the Medjai warrior leader in the movie, The Mummy. An aquatic biologist by profession, I spent two years of my career surveying Florida waterways by airboat, and I never got to travel with a hunky airboat guide, so I created my very own hunk for the story.  * grin*  I wrote a yummy one, too.




What are the elements of a great romance for you? 

Every reader is different, but for me, the best and most memorable romances have a hero who isn’t gorgeous or ripped. Instead, he is smart or funny or a little quirky, and he does things for the heroine that make you sigh and go, “Awww!”

Nora Roberts’ character, Carter Maguire, in the first book of her Bride Quartet, Vision in White, is a perfect example. The “professor” wasn’t a hunk; he was adorable with his quirky, sweet nature. I recently read another great example in Megan Bryce’s To Wed the Widow. Her hero George Sinclair was sweet, funny, and carried a Pomeranian puppy in his pocket. Altogether a memorable hero.


Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?

I totally prefer love at first sight. A look, a touch, a scent, a sound, a taste – “love” senses that individually or in tandem incite inexplicable electrified impulses between a man and a woman, drawing them together with or against their will.


When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I left my fabulous “day” job at Walt Disney World to write full-time, so I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to write anytime. I try to set aside whole work days devoted to my Work in Progress.

While that sounds wonderful in theory, dazzling passages are guaranteed to pop in your head at the least opportune moments — in restaurants, in line at Walmart, in bed in the blessed moments before you succumb to much-needed sleep. Never, ever assume those passages will still be hovering in the atmosphere when you return to your computer. They won’t. They will swiftly dissipate like the smoke from the Pillsbury rolls you burned when you stopped to send a tweet about your latest interview.

I never go anywhere without a pocket pad in my purse, and yes, there’s one on the bedside table, too. My husband frowns at it whenever he walks by.  *snicker*


What is the hardest interview question you have ever had to answer…(and no, we don’t need the answer, not unless you want to share)

Any question that asks me for advice on writing technique or how to write a better book. I think writing skills are like putting on make-up. What makes me look good may make someone else look washed out and vice versa, so I always dread the advice questions. The only advice I am completely comfortable giving new writers is never, EVER give up. Like Stephen King once said, “the only difference between published writers and unpublished writers is the published writers never gave up.”


A random fact about yourself?

I am one of seven preacher’s kids, which probably explains why thus far in my writing career, I have only written PG-13 romance, safe enough for teens.

I want to thank Booktalk with Eileen and their loyal readers for allowing me to spend time with them today and share stories about my books. Happy reading or writing to all — your pick!

About eileendandashi

I am a lover of books, both reading and writing. 2018 marks the beginning of my own journey from writer to published author. This blog will showcase various authors' thoughts on the elements of novel crafting, and my attempts to find my voice in writing. While journaling this journey, I hope to encourage others to follow their dreams. Book reviews continue as I have the last four years, only making time for my new pursuits.
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