Love’s Tethered Heart by C.L. Etta
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Available for Purchase at
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have C.L. Etta here today talking about writing, books, and her latest release, Love’s Tethered Heart. Welcome, C.L.!
A big shout out to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today. I appreciate the opportunity to stop in and answer a few questions while promoting my latest release—Love’s Tethered Heart. LTH is the unlikely love story of Mico and Danny, two men who work to forge a relationship despite the obstacles in front of them. Their biggest hurdle? Mico is ventilator dependent due to quadriplegia. I hope readers will accompany the characters on their journey to discover whether or not love can conquer all.
Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from? A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?
Although this is my third book, I’m still a novice so I don’t have a “normal” yet. But my last career was as a nursing home nurse, and in each of my three books I’ve drawn on that experience. I’ve written minor characters who are central to the plot, dealing with a stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. In LTH I tackle quadriplegia. My current work in progress is told from the point of view of a blind man. I’m also working on a manuscript set against a stock car racing background because I’m a NASCAR fan.
Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?
If by “pantzer” you mean “seat of your pants”, then I’m definitely a pantzer. I get an idea in my head and I see the beginning, maybe something that happens in the middle and since it’s a romance, I know how it will end. Everything else comes to me as I write. The why? I’m not sure. In real life, I’m spontaneous, rarely planning. I used to buy those daily planners, utilizing them a week or two, then tossing them aside. They stifled my style.
Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else? Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?
The last four or five years I’ve been drawn to the m/m genre. I have read a handful of fantasy, but mostly stick with contemporary. I like the element of angst sexuality brings to the story. Before I began reading this genre, I mostly read historical bodice rippers.
Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?
I’m learning that they can. I have another book coming out in March and I have a thing for the main character, Cassidy a recently retired Army sergeant with a gentle heart.
If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?
Amy Lane’s Promise Rock series, Rowan Speedwell’s Illumination, Mary Calmes’ Matter of Time series, and to keep things exciting, SE Jake’s Hell or Highwater series.
How early in your life did you begin writing?
LOL. I wouldn’t call it early. I began writing my first novel in January 2015. It was accepted for publication in October it was accepted for publication and was released in July 2016. Since then, I’ve had three other novels accepted. It’s been a heady experience for me.
Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?
I was an avid reader. I rode my bicycle to the library every week and checked out the maximum number of books. My mother would often find me under the covers with a flashlight in hand reading way past bedtime. I read Mark Twain, Daphne Du Maurier, and the Nancy Drew books. I went through a period where I read only mysteries. When I began reading historical romance, Kathleen Woodiwiss and LaVyrle Spencer, and Judith McNaught were my go to authors.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Sitting on my laurels amid the Caribbean? No, really that’s what I’d like, but realistically I must always keep my mind busy, whether reading or writing, or playing Sudoku. I like to think that writing stories about beautiful men doing naughty things will keep me young. If not of body, then in mind and heart.
What would you like your readers to take away from Love’s Tethered Heart?
That’s a tough one, because the journey will be different for each reader. LTH touches on family themes, forgiveness, illness, loneliness, religion and unconditional love. I’d like them to arrive at the end of the journey with an enhanced sense of compassion and hope. I’d like them to believe that love is possible for everyone no matter life’s obstacles.
Two years ago Mico and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mico a quadriplegic—and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive, with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.
Assigned to interview Mico and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the other man. Mico is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mico is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mico, and he’s determined to show Mico that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mico’s existence.
If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mico will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone—no matter what obstacles they face.
C.L. Etta, a bartender’s daughter, became the apple of her parents’ eyes at her first dimpled smile. Developing a lifelong passion for reading, C.L. spent summers riding her bicycle to the library where she filled the handlebar basket with books. Much to her chagrin, C.L.’s mother often found her under the bedcovers with a flashlight, reading in the middle of the night.
Fast-forward to college, where C.L. spent good times burning bras, working in summer-stock theater, trying out potential husbands, then to her parents’ and in-laws’ delight, finally started a family. Having raised three kids and a husband, and with varied careers as a secretary, credit union loan veep, a software support rep, a mortgage broker, and a nurse under her belt, C.L. decided it was time for a break. So, she retired.
It wasn’t until life had slowed that she heard voices—sexy male voices. Intrigued, she listened. She discovered new friends who clamored for their stories to be told. So, it was back to school where she stood outside the creative writing classroom with students who observed her silver hair and mistook her for the teacher. After completing class and going on a cruise, she sat at her computer and began telling her boys’ stories.
Eighteen months later, C.L. has contracted with two different publishers for four books. The voices in C.L.’s head are as loud as ever, giving C.L. the impetus to keep writing.
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