Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Today's Special - - Keri Stevens

It's my pleasure to introduce you to debut author (and one of funniest people on Twitter),  Keri Stevens!  Keri was raised in southern Missouri and has lived in Germany, Arizona, North Carolina and Kentucky. Along the way she acquired degrees in writing and German, a romance hero of her very own, three sons, two miracle cats and a mutt who licks her when she speaks German.  Her husband gave Keri her first romance novel to read, which unleashed a passion. Several years and a couple thousand novels later, Keri took up her laptop and began writing her own books.  By day, she is a mild-mannered yoga and Oriental dance instructor. By night she creates mayhem and magic in small-town paranormal romance novels like her award-winning debut, STONE KISSED.

Please join me in giving Keri a very warm welcome to The Romance Dish!

I talk all the time. My mother says when I was four I thought my name was “Keri Shut Up” (She abandoned her vow never to use the phrase “shut up” with her child soon after my second birthday). I married a quiet man, one who is happy to watch me talk (even if he isn’t always listening).

I don’t even need a conversational partner. My pets purr when I talk to them, which is all the encouragement I need. Those other drivers may not hear me, but I give them an earful just the same. And yes, like my heroine in STONE KISSED, I haunt graveyards and talk to statues. I lean in close and whisper questions. I won’t say that they answer me…but I won’t say they don’t. I will say that—me being me—they often can’t get a word in edgewise.

One of my favorite figures stands among a cluster of four U.S. Navy graves, the lone carved figure in a rural Kentucky graveyard. I know nothing about her--she has no inscriptions. But she’s a hottie--lovely and sexy and happy, and she loves the sun. Somewhere in the hereafter, these seamen are at a celestial beachside bar chatting her up, and she’s loving every minute of it.

Was that the intention of the sculptor? No idea. Is the living family pleased with her or embarrassed by her sensuality? What about the guy two graves over--does his ghost rise at night to check out the babe next door?

Funerary art is like a romance novel. Families use monuments to tell their love stories to strangers and future generations, just as authors do with our books. The beloved husband was a good father and war hero. The beloved wife is an angel in the Happy Ever After. These simple blocks of granite and flower-draped maidens are grand gestures that overcome the dark moment of death. The carvers I’ve met are happy to be helping others declare their eternal and unconditional love.

Lately, readers tell me they’re bringing their lawn gnomes in out of the weather at night. Some have moved the Hummels they inherited into the living room so the figurines can see the family in action. Others have quietly put their carvings away.

What about you? Who, or what do you chat with when no one sees?  And what do you think my angel is telling the boys in the afterlife? will choose one lucky commenter to win an e-pub (or pdf) ARC of Keri's debut book, STONE KISSED! 

Carina Press
ISBN: 978-14268-9101-4

When Delia Forrest talks to statues, they talk back. She is, after all, the last of the Steward witches.

After an arsonist torches her ancestral home with her estranged father still inside, Delia is forced to sell the estate to pay his medical bills. Her childhood crush, Grant Wolverton, makes a handsome offer for Steward House, vowing to return it to its former glory. Delia agrees, as long as he’ll allow her to oversee the restoration.

Working so closely with Grant, Delia finds it difficult to hide her unique talent—especially when their growing passion fuels her abilities.

But someone else lusts after both her man and the raw power contained in the Steward land. Soon, 
Delia finds herself fighting not just for Grant's love, but for both their lives...

You can find Keri online at:

Main site and blog:

My Friends Yahoo group:

Twitter (@KeriStevens)



eHarlequin community:



  1. Somehow I can't imagine how this statue ended up in a rural Kentucky graveyard. It is a striking , wonderful figure. It is hard to imagine why there is no inscription or dedication. We, too, stop at graveyards to read inscriptions, see the unusual artwork, and see what is left at the graves.
    Read a nice review of STONE KISSED yesterday. Sounds like a different and good read.
    Best of luck with the release of your first book. May there be many more.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  2. Wow, sound like an exciting book to me. I don't talk to statues but if something has the least bit of life in it, I talk to it. My cats answer me, sometimes my son does too. Come to think of it I do talk to inanimate objects as well, the computer is semi-inanimate isn't it? I talk to it all the time!
    No idea what the angel is telling the ones on the other side but I am quite sure they are listening.

  3. Mayhem and magic from Keri "shut up," sailors chatting up a grave monument, extra protection for garden gnomes and Hummels. I'm LOL'ing! As usual!

  4. Hello, Keri, and welcome to the Dish! We are so happy to have you join us today. And huge congrats on your debut release! It sounds terrific. :)

    I loved your blog! I totally agree with you--the statue is exquisite. I love to discover old statues, grave markers and such and try to find out more about them. Fascinating stuff!

  5. Thank you for the warm welcome, Andrea!

    Librarypat--I agree. She stands out. Even though I've driven by her for years, my eyes jerk over every time I'm on that back road.

    Dianna--I talk to the computer, too. In fact, my sons know that if I'm talking to the computer they should not interrupt without showing me flowing blood.

    Taryn--I live to serve :)

    Captcha is "alshemi." It's "alchemy" after the 3rd margarita.

  6. Morning, Keri! We're so excited to have you here today to celebrate the release of your debut book! I talk to a lot of things (just ask the dogs) but I have to admit I've never talked to statues. That may change after reading STONE KISSED! Frank, Bert, the Shepherdesses and the rest have me wondering what tales I've missed by not visiting their statuary brethren.

    I sure would love to know the story behind that angel in the Kentucky cemetery!

  7. Librarypat, STONE KISSED is indeed a different kind of read. It's a bit dark in places and very emotional in others but Keri's wonderful sense of humor shines through most of the book. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to more stories from her.

  8. Hi Dianna!

    I don't talk to my computer but I do talk to the TV...a lot, especially during football games. lol! I talk to the dogs and, yes, they talk back. In fact, they're both talking to me right now. Cassy's saying, "Gee, that toast looks good. Are you sure you wouldn't like to share?" and Rachel is saying, "Get off the computer and take me outside! NOW!" Rachel wins. Back in a few!

  9. I'm back. Listening to Rachel was definitely the right choice!

    Taryn, welcome to The Romance Dish! We can always count on laughter when Keri's around, can't we? *g*

  10. I'm not usually a romance fan (YA lit is my thang), but this sounds interesting. I'd love to be entered to win a free copy!

  11. This book continues to intrigue me. I can't wait to read it.

  12. I haven't yet read Stone Kissed, but I am intrigued with the description and impressed by all the good buzz I'm hearing. Congratulations, Keri!

    That angel is gorgeous, and she so clearly invites storytellers to spin their tales. I've never talked to statues, but I have been known to curse my computer, coax my car, and chat with a few photographs--and my canine buddies are some of the best conversationalists I've known.

  13. Michelle, thanks for visiting us today! STONE KISSED is not what I'd call your typical romance. Nor is it your typical paranormal. It's an original and very enjoyable. I hope you give it a try!

  14. Hi Jeannene! Thanks for dropping by!

  15. Janga, I'd love to hear that angel's stories. I've really never paid a lot of attention to statues (except for those carved by Michelangelo that I've been fortunate enough to see in person) but, as I said earlier, that's likely to change after reading STONE KISSED. My imagination is taking flight with all the tales they have to tell.

    You said, my canine buddies are some of the best conversationalists I've known.

    Mine too!

  16. I think that statue is simply awesome. It speaks to the viewer.

    And yes, I think the old guy 2 graves over comes to visit her every night!

    I talk to my dog, my car, my computer, my phone, but rarely my husband. (haha...just kidding about the hubs.)

    I've read Stoned Kissed. It is very different, which is why I enjoyed it a great deal. Not your usual story.

  17. HI Keri! Congrats on the release of your first book! How cool is that! Seriously, how cool is it?

    It seems I've married into and produced talkers. My fil used to say my mil would talk to a stone wall. His family has a way of talking as if everyone around them is in on the conversation. And, would you believe it, they get drawn right in, lol.

    My daughters have inherited this gift. My poor son, the middle one, gets caught in the cross chatter, lol. In fact, he developed speech a little later than he should have and we got him all the services he needed at the time. In retrospect, we think he was so slow to talk because he couldn't get a word in edge-wise. As a baby, his younger sister used to turn to him and yell and then go back to whatever she was doing.

    But he's a listener, as am I. And if you can't find the words, I'll be the one giving them to you.

    Adding STONE KISSED to my list of 2011 books! Good luck!

    Oh, and hello ladies!

  18. Hi Keri!

    I talk to my cats but I do that in front of people. I yell at characters in books when they are stupid and at the Wii Active coaches when they claim I didn't follow but it is really the consoles fault because I did do the exercise. hmpf.

    As for the figurine, I wish I could see her face too. Is it smiling or sad?

    k2sattlers at comcast dot net

  19. Wow! PJ, thanks again for having me. I'm glad you listened to Rachel.

    Michelle and Jeannine, I hope you enjoy Stone is a bit off the beaten path (just like those really cool monuments!)

    Janga, thank you also--and I agree. Dogs can get their points across perfectly well without words, per se. My dog, Ivy, frequently reproaches me for bringing these cats in the house this summer.

    Cyndi--I'm with you about the guy two graves over. I bet he's not the the only one.

    Santa, you crack me up. Your MIL would get along like a house afire...or maybe not. I dated a guy once who talked as much as I do. It was not pretty.

  20. Kelly, she's smiling. It's a life-size statue up on a 3-4 ft base, so I couldn't get a good face shot. I've sat on, climbed over and hunted Easter eggs among tombstones, but it seemed a bit much to climb on one guy's headstone to take a photo of another :)

  21. This book looks great. I usually have my escape time when I am reading, so I usually talk to characters who I relate to and my computer to share my thoughts.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  22. This books sounds very good Keri congrats on the release.

    I don't talk to statues not many around my place here in Australia but I do talk to my dog a lot and I am sure she listens and understands everything I say LOL.

    As for that statue it really is beautiful maybe she is a merperson calling to all of the seaman

    Have Fun

  23. Stephanie,
    When I talk to the characters in a book it's usually because they're doing something I would...advise against!

    Helen, I like that idea. My critique partner, Becke Martin Davis, gives me merfolk souvenirs.

  24. Hey Keri! It is so wonderful to have you joining us today. I have to say you had me giggling while reading your blog. See, when I was a child on every report card I received in elementary school (and I do mean EVERY), the teacher always put a note that "Buffie seems to talk too much". I guess my mouth ran nonstop in those days!!

  25. Hi Keri! Congrats on the debut! I talk to everything! Lol! My computer, the t.v., the papers on my desk at work, my framed pictures (especially of my baby niece), my Kindle... You name it, I've probably talked to it! Lol!

    I love the picture of the angel and the fact that she's gracing the graves of the U.S. NAVY sailors. I grew up with sailors as my dad was a career NAVY man, so I KNOW how rowdy they can be... So, seeing as how she's looking up at sailors, I think she's smiling up at them laughing at one of their jokes and saying, "I can't believe you just said that!" Or who knows, she could just be thanking them for their service and sending her love.

    Can't wait to read your book!!!


  26. Oh, BUFFIE! Somewhere I still have my first kindergarten report card in which she mentions how much I talk. BUT I also remember taking an IQ test at age six in which she counted the number of words I spoke in a minute as a sign of intelligence.

    Monica, honestly, I teared up. I stood smack dab in the center of those four heroes and looked up at her, and was amazed, pleased and proud that, as Librarypat points out, someone had done this in rural Kentucky, just for them.

  27. Hi, Keri! I'm so happy you were able to be our guest today at The Dish. I'm still laughing at your mom's "Keri Shut Up" moniker. My daughter is very chatty (my sons are, too), but there are days I just want silence. Having said all that, I can run my mouth a lot. LOL I talk to my dogs all the time, because they agree with everything I say. ;-)

    I love exploring old cemeteries--very cool. That statue of the young lady is gorgeous. Makes you wonder what fascinating story is behind it.

  28. Keri, thanks so much for being our guest today! And, thanks to everyone who stopped by today to leave comments. We'll post the winner of a copy of Keri's debut book, STONE KISSED, in the next few days so be sure to check back to see if you're the lucky person!

  29. Keri, STONE KISSED sounds fabulous! I love graveyards, so full of stories. Best of luck with your debut, though it sounds like it's a hit already! Congratulations!


  30. Congrats on your new release!

    That statue looks like she's singing, with oomph and joy. Sometimes old graveyards have such interesting statues and carvings that they do feed the imagination.