Monday, September 12, 2016

The Book of your Heart by @MaddieJames

I've often heard authors talk about writing the "book of their hearts." I have one of those books. It's not the first book I ever wrote, nor is it my bestseller. But it is the book I became the most connected to, the most engaged with as a writer--and it is the book that will always remain in my heart as my favorite.

I conceived the idea when I knew very little about the business of writing. I was simply entralled with the story rolling about in my head, and the characters that appeared, and then finally the research I conducted to put the details all together.

The book has undergone a number of iterations. It has been published by two publishers and now independently by myself. It's had its day in the sun. It's still "the book of my heart." I became haunted by the story, and probably a little obsessed.

Haunted by the Outer Banks

About twenty years ago I insisted we take a family vacation during spring break. The children were young, probably about six and eight years old. I needed to get away from school and my teaching job, and the ocean was calling me. Haunting me, perhaps. Odd thing, though, I’d never been to the east coast. That didn’t slow me down or stop the haunting feeling about going there. So, off we went.

I chose Nags Head because the name of the town had always intrigued me. Once we were there, I was simply entranced with the area, the people, the food, the laid-back atmosphere. That was our first trip of many. Even after my husband and I divorced, I found ways to get there. The kids and I once went by ourselves, saving yard sale cash for the trip. I traveled with my parents and my sister and her family a few other times. And in the past couple of years, I’ve even taken a solo trip, all by my lonesome. Ocracoke Island was part of my solo trip destination. I love the feel of the place and having only spent day trips there in the past, longed to relax in its laid-back, no stop-light, barefoot all summer, read on the screened-in sunporch bliss, and watch the sparkle from the harbor.

Edward Teach aka Blackbeard called Ocracoke Island home for some time. Around 1718 he wreaked havoc over the eastern coastline and then finally was beheaded in a battle at sea. The Governor of Virginia had ordered him stopped. Losing his head was the thing that did it. On the islands you can find many references to the infamous pirate and I was fascinated by the pirate folklore that surrounded the Outer Banks. So, I decided to dig in, read more, and write my own version of the legendary pirates that lived there.

My series titled Soul Mates: The Legend of Blackbeard’s Chalice stems from what I’ve read and discovered about the islands and the pirates who roamed near there, particularly, of course, Blackbeard. Entranced, is the first book born out of that research, and is truly a book of my heart and a story that had to be told. Jack Porter resides in the time of Blackbeard in 1718. Claire Winslow lives in present day. Blackbeard’s Curse separated their spirits across time. Finding the chalice--a historical relic made from Blackbeard's beheaded skull--will help them reunite. Can they find it?

Entranced is this book of my heart. Originally, the title was Night Kiss. The another published did not like that title, and changed it to The Curse. When I self published, I came up with Entranced. I still call the book Night Kiss in my head when I think of it--and sometimes I wonder if I should change it back.

You can read more about Entranced and the Soul Mates series here on my website. I invite you into my world of pirates, history, intrigue, suspense, time travel, and some paranormal elements. Perhaps Entranced will touch your heart too.

Do you have a book of your heart?


Maddie James writes romance – but don’t try to pin her down to one genre. From edgy suspense to flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles, she just wants to silence the people in her head. Find out more at

Check out my recent releases:



  1. I loved reading the background of your heart, Maddie. I wonder if we all have places that call to us like that. Mine is Vermont.

    1. Thanks, Liz. Vermont is on my bucket list. One day!

  2. What a great back story to your book. Look forward to reading it.

  3. I'm glad your book of the heart is now carrying the title of your choice! I prefer ENTRANCED to the others!

    1. Thanks Becky! It has grown on me. I think it fits with the rest of the titles in the series too.

  4. Maddie, I'm fascinated about the premise of your "book of the heart." Sounds like my kind of book, but what fascinates me is that I have a book of the heart too. Huge time travel-paranormal I wrote that languishes in a file folder somewhere. The idea for it popped into my head in its entirety one morning while I walked. Made the rounds in NY and got great comments (know what I mean) but ultimately never sold. I think I'll take a look at it again. Looking forward to reading yours.

  5. Joan, this time travel sat at Dorchester for over a year "back in the day" and made the NY rounds too. so happy it didn't get picked up back then and am just happy to have it out there on my own. You should take another look at it! It's not my bestseller by any means but I'm happy for those who do choose to buy and read.


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