Authors Dish RWA 7-2-2019 with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell, Author Tarina Deaton, and Author Tonya Burrows

Authors Dish RWA 7-2-2019 with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell, Author Tarina Deaton, and Author Tonya Burrows

Welcome newbies and seasoned travel veterans to Authors Dish. With only three weeks until #RWA2019 I’m searching for what authors and industry professionals always include in their suitcases, what they stash in their conference bag to avoid hunger pains and the things they forget once and hopefully never again. While some of the authors contributing are not attending, we love that they want to contribute and hope their words of wisdom help to ease any anxiety you might have getting all the things in your suitcase.  

May this inspire you to plan, make your lists, and triple check so you are prepared for just about anything. If you’re heading to RWA2019 I’d love to say hi. Comment below so we can be sure to meet up in NYC.

Hopefully you won’t find yourself waking up in the middle of the night panicked that you now need the very thing you forgot to pack. Or, finding out moments before you have a meeting or fun place to go, you ran out of or forgot something essential.

Stay tuned as we’ll have plenty of tips and tricks in the upcoming weeks so check the blog daily.

Today in the cafe are New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell, Author Tarina Deaton, and Author Tonya Burrows.

Rae: What five things do you have to pack when attending a conference? 

Cathy Maxwell:

Sneaks and flats, swag, something dressy for publisher parties, lavender oil for a restful night’s sleep, and all the buttons that I’ve collected over the years of attending RWA to wear on my name badge.








Tarina Deaton:

Comfortable shoes. A notebook for notes. My plot bunny notebook (I never leave home without it). Business cards. Extra space (for all the goodies I take home).





Tonya Burrows:

1.  Comfortable shoes. (Very important!)

2. Swag and/or books depending on the conference and if I’m attending a signing. If there’s not a signing, then business cards.

3. Leggings. After a week of dressing up, by the last day I’m ready to go back to my regularly scheduled writer wardrobe.

4. Water bottle. (Hydrate, people. Seriously. You’ll thank me for this one.)

5. Alcohol. Hotel bar drinks are expensive!


Rae: What is your snack attack must haves in your day bag?

Cathy: Fruit. I keep a bag of clementines or a banana in my room.

Tarina: I’m really bad about remembering to put snacks in my bag, but it would probably be wasabi almonds because I like to crunch on things.

Tonya: I usually pack protein bars and keep a filled water bottle on hand at all times. Between all the drinking and walking, I tend to get dehydrated at conference and then I end up waking up in the middle of the night with leg cramps. No fun.




Rae:What’s the one thing you forget to pack and swear to remember next time?

Cathy: A cork screw! (And I bet I’m not the only author who has forgotten one.)

Tarina: This is only my second big conference I’m attending as an author, but the one thing I forgot last time was business cards. I had to run out to Walmart and get the printable ones so I’d at least have SOMETHING.

Tonya: I’ve been doing this conference thing for seven years now, so I’ve got packing down to an art. But at my very first RWA in 2012, I didn’t even think to pack a small sewing kit and of course the strap on my RITA dress broke. Luckily, one of my new friends came to my rescue, but I went out and bought one as soon as I got home. It lives in my suitcase now, along with a small first aid kit and a bag of safety pins. I hardly ever use it, but I’ll have it when I need it.

Rae: Thank you so much authors! Readers, what’s the ONE thing you always forget and swear to include next time when you travel? How do you make sure that you remember ;).

I’ll be keeping a running list and will post it a week before RWA2019 so that hopefully no one needs to make a quick run to the lobby market or drug store around the corner. I’ll see you soon for new authors and more ideas!


Cathy Maxwell: Cathy Maxwell is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty historical romance novels.  She never minds spending hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” To her, it remains the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness.   To discover more about Cathy and her books, visit

Tarina Deaton:Tarina is an award winning author who has spent her entire life in and around the military – first as a dependent and then as an enlisted Air Force member. Her debut novel, Stitched Up Heart, released in September 2016 and hit the number one spot on Amazon’s Top 100 Free Military Romance. She uses her life as inspiration for many of her stories, because truth is stranger (and funnier) than fiction.

Tarina is still active duty and a single mom of six-year-old twins. Her favorite hobby is sleep. She has delusions of retiring from the military and being a stay-at-home mom.

Tonya Burrows: Tonya Burrows wrote her first romance at age 13 and hasn’t put down her pen since. Originally from a small town in Western New York, she suffers from a bad case of wanderlust and usually ends up moving someplace new every few years. As of now, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with The Boyfriend, a diva schnoodle, a plucky pug-mix, and #writercat.

When she’s not writing about hunky military heroes, Tonya can usually be found kayaking, hiking, or road tripping across the country. She also enjoys painting and B grade disaster movies.

If you would like to know more about Tonya, visit her website at She’s also on Twitter @tonyaburrows and Facebook

In case you missed our other posts here’s the recap so far:

7-1-19: Authros Dish RWA 2019 – USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Covington, Author Kelly Maher, and Author Cate Taylor

6-30-19 USA Today Bestselling Author Naima Simone, Author Nancy Northcott, and Author Gail Z. Martin / Morgan Brice

6-29-19 Authors Dish RWA 2019 with USA Today Bestselling Author Suzanne Ferrell, Author Jeanne Adams, and Author Olivia Hardin

Authors Dish

Authors Dish


Welcome to Authors Dish where your favorite authors will share what they are reading. In addition, if you enjoy reading their books they have suggestions for similar book adventures by other authors. It doesn’t get better than that!

This post will run regularly on Fridays so sit back and take notes…these authors have a lot to share.


Today in the cafe are Cathy Maxwell, Samantha Chase and Jeanne Adams.

Rae: Who are you reading? 

Cathy Maxwell: BEARD SCIENCE (Winston Bros. #3) by Penny Reid.  Oh, and Lorraine Heath’s latest BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE. Yes, I read two books at a time if they are different subgenres.



Samantha Chase: I have been on a Sawyer Bennett kick – her Cold Fury series is awesome!! 



Professional portrait - JPA 2012Jeanne Adams: I’m reading Donna Andrews’ How the Finch Stole Christmas, Kate Carlisle’s Eaves of Destruction, and Christmas Novellas from Anna Campbell!  In my stash are some non-fiction: The Ghost Map (about plagues), and Chip Gaines’s book Capital Gaines; as well as some great new fiction: Ellery Adams’ Killer Characters, and Charlaine Harris’s latest Aurora Teagarden Sleep Like a Baby



Rae: If readers are a fan of your books, who should they consider reading?

Cathy Maxwell: That is a tough one because there are many writer who are so wonderful, I am embarrassed to compare myself to them.  However, authors who inspire me are Lorraine Heath, Sherry Thomas, Cheryl Etchison, Anne Elizabeth, Sabrina Jeffries, Elizabeth Hoyt, Karen Robards, Nora, Georgette hayer, Kristan Higgins. Of course, Lavryle Spencer and Sherry Thomas and, and, and.  There are brilliant books out there.  Isn’t it a joy to be a reader? Especially one who loves a happy ending?

Samantha Chase: Melanie Shawn, RaeAnne Thayne, Susan Mallery, Marquita Valentine, Noelle Adams

Jeanne Adams:  Suzanne Ferrell, JD Tyler, Nancy Northcott, Sue Coletta, Jordan Dane, Loreth White, KJ Howe (if you want it with action but not so much romance…)

Rae: Thank you so much authors! Let me know dear readers if you try any of these books. I’ll see you next week – sae time for new authors and more fun! 
Coffee With New York Times Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell

Coffee With New York Times Bestselling Author Cathy Maxwell

Rae: Thanks so much for hanging out with me today. First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking an spiced Latte with Coconut Milk with chocolate drizzle, what would you order?

Cathy: Just coffee with room for cream and stevia.

Rae: Congratulations on your 41st release (is that correct?)

Cathy: Not even close. This is my 33rd book. I’ve written a few novellas but 41 is still a high number. I hope to reach it someday, but I’m not there yet.

Rae: If Ever I Should Love You. It released on December 26th and I must thank you, it was my favorite birthday present 😉 I rarely have books released on my birthday! What was the inspiration for this new book adventure?

Cathy: Happy birthday to you! This is lovely, Rae. The inspiration for this new series was something my husband used to say: You can marry money but you can’t live with it.

I know, I know, it doesn’t make complete sense . . . unless one is in an upside down relationship. Money can be a great tool for climbing a social ladder or it can destroy a person’s character.

In IF EVER I SHOULD LOVE YOU, I’m using money has a tool to bring two people who were truth destined to be together. 

Rae: The last time we sat down it was always during games at RT in Atlanta. I am fascinated in your career, you began in broadcasting and then worked in Naval Intelligence. How does one then make the leap writing Historical Romance?

Cathy: I always knew that I would someday write a book. Back when I was a news broadcaster, I found myself frustrated by the trajectory of my career. Mind you, this was back in the day when women were struggling to be taken seriously in broadcasting. I saw my career ahead of me—I’d move up to Wichita, then Omaha, then maybe St. Joe, and by that time I’d be thirty and my on-air career would be over. Furthermore, I found reading the news dissatisfying. It is a bit like telling people bedtime stories. At the time, I was working for a small satellite station where on top of all of the reporting duties I also wrote advertising, did the billing, and vacuumed. It doesn’t sound glamorous but it was great. I had complete control as long as I stayed under budget. However, I didn’t know if I wanted to move up.

So, I made a list of the twenty-five things I wanted to do with my life. Travel was on there. Writing a book was another item. And I wanted to join the Navy. I can’t remember much else because I set into motion the travel and joining the military. I have no regrets. It was a grand adventure.

Writing a book was trickier. I had no idea what I wanted to write—until I read my first romance novel. FIERCE EDEN by Jennifer Blake captured my imagination and here I am today.

Rae: Your backlist is impressive and inspiring with multiple series and standalone reads, what can we expect in 2018? Will there be more books from current series, or new ones in the works? That being said, how do you keep all of your worlds and characters from crossing over?

Cathy: Right now, the plan is for all the three books in the “Spinster Heiresses” series to be released in 2018.
I do have a loose bible of what I want to have happen over the course of the series. More importantly, I have a huge imagination full of people who are alive in my mind. I keep track of them as easily as I maintain tabs on any of my loving friends.

Rae: As a reader who appreciates a well crafted book cover, are you active in the creative design process? They are stunning.

Cathy: Thank you! All credit goes to the excellent Avon Books Art Director. 

Rae: I read that you love horses, do you ride daily? I hear the experience can be very therapeutic.

Cathy: I adore horses. Unfortunately, when I moved to Texas, I left my beautiful Dinero behind. It didn’t seem right to move him from where he is happiest. He is a sensitive soul. My trainer purchased him and they are heading for the show ring, something I had no desire to do or the talent for it. Still, I love them. I’m now content to donate to area equine rescues.

Rae: Writing all the words is a challenge, do you have a writing ritual or secret location to get the work done?

Cathy: No, nada. With me, it is go for it and hope it makes sense when I’m done.

Rae: Can you tell us how you tackle plotting your series? Is it on a massive board, sheets of paper or just write as you go with a simple outline?

Cathy: Most of the story is in my head. I do prepare a bible of sorts so I understand the themes I want to cover but the details of each book are always evolving. I yank stuff that displeases me out with wild abandon.

Rae: What can we expect to see on the bookshelves in the upcoming months?

Cathy: Book two of the Spinster Heiresses series A MATCH MADE IN BED will be released April 26. Look for THE DUKE THAT I MARRY along towards the end of 2018.

** Tantalizing Tidbits **

1. What is a must read book and why? I don’t have one. I have zillions! I just made my Romance Book Club read TIGER’S EYE by Karen Robards. That book has everything—sweeping romance, a outlaw hero, a betrayed heroine. Just big and grand reading.

2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown? Summer Moon Coffee Shop.

3. Do you take-in or cook? If so, what is your “go-to” dish? I cook. I’m crazy about a vegetarian chili. I’m also a fan of greens and mustard vinaigrette with fried eggs.

4. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you? That I can be introverted.

5. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist? All of them. I’m eclectic.

6. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go? France and Germany. And the research would be about readers. European markets are opening for Romance in a big way and I’d like to spend time meeting readers.

7. What is your guilty pleasure? Zumba!!!!!!!

8. What are you afraid of? Something bad happening to people I love.

9. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one? No tats. I’m a true rebel.

10. Organized or Free Floating? What a mess!

11. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)? Binge. Right now, Big Love and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

12. What’s on your playlist? Everything. Classical, blues, bluegrass, rock, reggatone, rap, alternative, jazz. You name it; I’ve got it.

13. What play or musical do you want to see next? I have no idea. I’d like to see Hamilton

14. Are you a crafter? No.

15. What’s your favorite TV show and why? I binge, see above.

16. If you could pick a book you’ve read and make it into a movie, which book would it be (besides yours 🙂 )? I’m thinking the Beard Science would be a good one.

17. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why? Waking Ned Devine. Such wonderful characters and good humor. Every time I make a chicken dinner, I think of that movie.

18. Would you rather see a movie in the theater or at home on DVD and why? Home because it had better be an excellent movie for me to watch it in a theater. Yes, I’m one of those people who gets antsy if the movie is mediocre. I want to rewrite it.

19. What is the one thing you can’t live without? My computer. It is my lifeline to the world.

20. If you could invite 5 people to dinner (not friends and family – that’s too easy) who would be at your table? Where would you eat?  Brazilian chef Alex Atala, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Poet Naomi Shihab Nye, Behaviorist Dan Ariely, and Pope Francis. There is a great food truck here in Austin that serves barbeque and homemade tortillas. We’ll eat there.

21. If you could try any career for a day, what would it be? Agent

22. Person you admire and why? There are so many . . . but let me choose Merline Lovelace who had a stellar career in the Air Force during some turbulent years for women in the armed forces and has gone on to a wonderful writing career. She lives life to the fullest with grace and laughter.

Rae: Thanks again for hanging out in the cafe today! Time for another spiced latte 🙂 Thank you! It has been fun.

Happy Reading Dear Readers.

Author Info:

Cathy Maxwell is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty historical romance novels.  She never minds spending hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” To her, it remains the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness.   To discover more about Cathy and her books, visit