Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Holiday #Romance: SECOND CHANCES ON SUGARPLUM LANE, Romance in Stardust Falls Book 1 by Makenna Holiday

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Romance in Stardust Falls Book 1


My name is Melinda Cole. At barely 30 years old, I’m a top executive at a major corporation. But I’m falling apart and all I want for Christmas is a hug from my mom and dad.

After avoiding charming, holiday-obsessed Stardust Falls for eight years, I’m going home for a surprise visit.

The surprise is on me. My parents aren’t waiting with open arms and comforting embraces. They’re not even in town. Instead, Jay Austin is staying in my childhood home.

Jay Austin, who is a big part of the reason I haven’t been back in almost a decade. Jay Austin, who was my best friend before he became the man who broke my heart. Jay Austin, who is the one here now, when I need someone to listen and a shoulder to cry on. Jay Austin, who is leaving me with so many unanswered questions.

Why is he living in my parents’ garage apartment? Why did he dump me for no reason back then? Why is he so good at taking care of me now? Can I ever trust him again? Should I?

Our first attempt at being more than friends was a disaster.

Is there such a thing as a second chance at happily ever after?

Romance in Stardust Falls Book 1


Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.

I write under the pen name Makenna Holiday and live in a small town on the East Coast of the United States. When I’m not writing, I’m creating art, hanging out with my favorite people (two of which are dogs), reading, or watching reality television (my guilty pleasure). My favorite movie is The Proposal and I strongly recommend you see it, if you haven’t. My books take place in the fictional and whimsical Stardust Falls, where every day is a holiday, and your soul mate might just be waiting for you on the corner of Poinsettia Path and Cupid’s Court.

1. What appeals to you about the genre that you write?

I’d love to write just about every genre there is, if I had the time! I settled on sweet rom-com because I realized virtually everything I’ve ever written tended to have a strong love-centric subplot… plus I absolutely adore making people laugh. One of my writing professors in college once told me I had a wicked sense of humor and to this day, that compliment makes me smile. 

2. Are you a plotter or a pantser (one who writes “by the seat of your pants”)?

I am a former pantser, currently a plantser (mix of the two), who desperately wants to be a full-on plotter. I get really blocked when I don’t know where a story is going. 

3. What is your favorite part of writing?

Definitely the moments where I’m “in the flow”. The words come effortlessly, almost faster than my fingers can type them up, and the story seems to be writing itself. It feels like my heart is singing and I’m doing what I’m meant to do. Those times are definitely not the norm!

4. If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead?

I’ve been a self-employed artist since 2008 (under my real name), so I would be doing that. But writing is my first love.

5. What’s your favorite meal of the day?

Like with the three leading men in my books…I can’t choose a favorite! They’re all yummy in their own ways. 😉  But if I have to choose, I’ll pick breakfast, because it doesn’t make you wait around like lunch and dinner!

6. Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? Why?

Female, definitely. I write first person, single POV (for now, at least) and I love getting in my heroine’s head and telling her story in her words. Piper, Odessa, and Madison, the Stewart sisters, are major characters in my books and writing scenes with the three of them together is such a blast.

7. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it?

Definitely super memory! I often get a deluge of inspiration in the middle of the night, when I’m laying in bed, unable to sleep. Buuuuuuuuuut I can never make myself get up to write anything down, so when I wake in the morning, most of those ideas have left without saying goodbye, like rude houseguests. With a super memory, that would no longer be a problem!

8.  Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now?

As long as there’s a dog snoozing nearby, I’m happy. Though… sitting on an oceanfront balcony, somewhere the temperature is around 65 degrees year-round, listening to the waves… Yeah, I wouldn’t say no to that! Especially since it would all be research for writing beachy locations, right?

9.  Do you have any rejection stories to share? Reviews that meant something special to you?

It’s not a rejection story, but my favorite writing critique anecdote is when a college writing professor (not the same one who thought I had a wicked sense of humor) told me not to write anymore love poems. HA! I went and upgraded to NOVELS about love. And it sounds hokey but, truly, whenever anyone takes time out of their day to leave a kind review about one of my books… that’s the best feeling!

10.  Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?

My next book is the third in the Romance in Stardust Falls series, and it’s called Suddenly Sweethearts on Cupid’s Court. It will be published before the end of 2021, but I don’t have a firm date yet.

About Author Makenna Holiday…

When Makenna Holiday told a certain member of her family she was going to write romance novels, they were confused. She’d been writing her whole life, so that wasn’t a surprise. But romances? Aren’t you, her relative wondered, supposed to write what you know?

Sit down, dear reader, and prepare yourself for the shocking truth: Makenna Holiday hasn’t had a date since 2005. She hasn’t found her soul mate. She’s not even out there looking for true love. She is chronically single (and she’s okay with that.)

And she’s writing romances? GASP!

Now. Let’s think about this for a minute logically. Close your eyes. Wait, no, don’t close your eyes, because you need to keep reading. Your favorite book boyfriend. Picture him. You’re smiling, aren’t you? Is he realistic? Nopity nope. Now, he’s not perfect. Because perfect is B-O-R-I-N-G. He has his cute little quirks and a couple of low-key flaws. But does he have super hairy toes like your actual boyfriend? No, he doesn’t. (Not that anything’s wrong with super hairy toes…No need for your boyfriend to be self-conscious about that!) I’ll bet he doesn’t have morning breath, either.

So Makenna may not have been on a date in a while (okay, a long while), but in the past, she dated enough to know what she doesn’t want…and that enables her to give you what you do. In her books, you’ll find guys you probably won’t meet in real life. But she promises: They will make you wish they did. They’re charming and funny and sweet and can pull off a grand romantic gesture that’ll make you weak in the knees. And because Makenna is a bit quirky and feels all the things strongly, so do her heroines.

So what are you waiting for? Makenna cordially invites you to visit Stardust Falls, the town where every day is a holiday. Where love waits around every corner, be it in the form of a hug from your mom, a long talk with your sisters…or a second chance with a first boyfriend. Where you will swoon and you will laugh..and hopefully you’ll want to come back again and again, because there can never be too many happily ever afters.

Links to Makenna’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Dhk7kF

Makenna’s books can be found here:

To join Makenna’s mailing list: https://www.subscribepage.com/makennaholiday


Special Giveaway: Makenna will give away an ebook copy of SECOND CHANCES ON SUGARPLUM LANE to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Good luck!

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Makenna, for sharing your story with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

18 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Holiday #Romance: SECOND CHANCES ON SUGARPLUM LANE, Romance in Stardust Falls Book 1 by Makenna Holiday”

  1. Good morning, Makenna, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I love second chance at love stories. It’s so much fun to think of do-overs. I really enjoyed your interview. Like you, I’d love to have super memory. Having inspiration and then losing it before you can write it down can be so frustrating. Thanks for sharing you and your book with us today!

  2. Great interview! Love the “go with the flow” favorite part while writing….the story sounds like a great read and really like the mature female lead theme…
    Thanks, Karen and Makenna.

  3. Hi Makenna! Loved what I read in the blurb and want to read more!! Your interview was quite interesting and fun to read, especially the part on your dating. Thank you for sharing. Thank you Karen for introducing an new author to me!

  4. Love the book cover, title, excerpt, review and interview. Would love to read & review in print format.
    Book sounds and looks like a fun, intriguing and possibly romantic read
    I don’t have KU because it’s to expensive for me.

    1. Hi, Crystal! Thank you! It’s definitely a romantic read! I completely understand… It seems like everything is on a subscription model these days and they can add up. There are often deals on KU… there was one that was just going on for 4 months for $4.99 (total). So if you’re interested, you might want to check on that, but I do get it. The eBook is $2.99 if you don’t have KU… maybe you’ll be the winner! Unfortunately, I don’t offer print versions yet, but that is definitely in my plans for the future! 🙂

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