Friday, November 22, 2019

Renee Shelbey’s Stoically Yours

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have a great deal to be thankful for in my life. I have a loving family, my health for the most part is good, and my books are doing really well on Amazon. This year, as I look back, wasn't the easiest for me. Let me count the ways. I accidently caught my kitchen on fire, my water heater flooded the back part of our house, the ATT security system guy fell through our ceiling and it had to be repaired, my Jaguar was totaled, I had gall bladder surgery, got the flu, got pneumonia. Whoa! That was a lot. I'm not here in a  pity party because lots of great things came this way too. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that no matter the trials and tribulations, you will make it through. My Thanksgiving wish for each of you is to find the good around you and spread joy during this holiday season. Do something nice for someone.
Okay enough of that. I'm excited to introduce you to Renee Shelbey and her book "Stoically Yours." It is a book filled with romance that will be perfect for your holiday reading.
If nothing else, Tabitha Merrin has always considered herself two things: mentally focused and emotionally guarded. Never before this year of her psychology internship have the two been more relevant. She just wants to keep her head down and finish the program but the two new guys in her life are making it difficult.

Mark Thomas, a handsome and intuitive musician, is trying to woo her but so is her clinical professor, who’s attractive and brilliant but not exactly available. Regardless, they both make her consider doing things she never thought she would.

For the first time in a long while, Tabitha wonders if she should drop her guard and open herself up to a relationship, but to which guy? If she takes too long to make a decision, will he still be there waiting?

It’s a fun, multicultural romance that invites you to peek behind the curtain of psychology internship, sometimes cringe at but mostly applaud the journey of self-discovery, and follow the path to boundless love.


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I grew up in a small southern town, and now I live in a different small, southern city so I'm full circle! I went to undergraduate school at an HBCU or historically black college/university which was a great experience. I also earned my master's and a doctorate in psychology at different universities.
What inspired you to author this book?
I've always loved to write, even since I was a young kid. I used to write short stories and novels when I was in middle school and high school but got away from it when I entered college. Now I've just had time to get back to it, and I enjoy it! I wanted to tell a story about someone going through graduate school or an internship in psychology, sort of peel back the layers of what you'd find there, and do it in a funny and meaningful way. Also, since I enjoy reading and writing about romance, I thought it might be interesting to throw that into the mix as well. In addition, I wondered if people would find it intriguing to read about a sprinkle or two of social commentary.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
Ah, this was a struggle. I self-published, so I didn't have the guidance of a book editor or literary agent. I've been learning as I go along, so I first used Amazon's kindle create to generate a cover while also uploading some available internet images. I didn't like that and found someone on Etsy who created the 2nd cover, and then finally, I found out about Fiverr and found a designer who could create the image I had in my head. I wanted to use a silhouette and something more illustrated as opposed to a photograph. I tried to convey that the book is fun and inviting. Hopefully, it does!
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
Well, I've just started back writing, and while I'm not entirely immersed in the writing world yet, there are several romance authors that I love. I think they write beautifully and bring authenticity to everything they do. Those folks are Christina Lauren, Jasmine Guillory, and Piper Lawson. They all bring something different and unique to the table but equally satisfying. There's a whole host of other wonderful romance writers out there as well.
 What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
Finding the time to write was definitely challenging. I have a husband, a child, and a full-time job so I have a lot going on like the rest of the people in the world! I had to find a way to balance pursuing my passion and book goals as well as spending time and taking care of the people I love. My husband was super supportive though, so it was all good!
 Tell your readers about your book.
Stoically Yours is a fun and steamy romance book with multicultural, three-dimensional characters that balance the contemporary dating habits with the professional aspirations of an educated female protagonist. The main character, Tabitha, is smart and driven as well as a good therapist in her psychology internship but she makes some poor choices when it comes to romance and relationships. She meets Mark, who's a musician and not someone she would ever see herself with, but he pursues her, along with her clinical professor, Dr. Reddy, who's unavailable. Tabitha has to decide who and what she wants in a relationship, causing her to learn a lot about herself along the journey.
Who is your target audience, and why?
My target audience is anyone over the age of 18 (because of language and steamy scenes) who's interested in reading about a heroine who's smart, funny, and captivating but who also makes poor choices at times and eventually learns from them. It's also for those interested in romances with realistic characters and situations that are sometimes messy like real life. There's also an array of multicultural characters and contemporary themes, which are things you may not see in many other romance novels.
 What do you consider your greatest success in life?
I consider my most celebrated success as creating a warm, safe, happy, and comfortable home life for my family.
 What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
I enjoy infusing contemporary, social themes into my writing in a way that's entertaining and funny but also thought-provoking.

Author website:
Goodreads site:
Twitter: @renee_shelbey