Flotsam & Jetsam

What set Ellie off anyway? A thought intruded. No, couldn’t be. He checked her profile. Nah. But his mouth formed a hopeful smile, and he leaned back, humming his favorite tune. Flotsam & Jetsam

The dashing Frenchman or the handsome handyman? Who will she choose? For the Love of a Spy

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Brenda Whiteside and Sleeping with the Lights On With Us Today

Please welcome Brenda Whiteside, author of Sleeping with the Lights On. Brenda, Sleeping with the Lights On was your first full-length novel. Can you tell us how it came about?

Ten years ago, this month, I signed my first contract for book publication. Sleeping with the Lights On was actually the first full length novel I’d written, although it started out as a short story. And the story is now an audio book. I’m thrilled. Lily Dubuque did a fantastic job of bringing my characters to life.

I love to tell the journey of this novel took.

One afternoon, hanging with my sister, she complained about her last disappointing date. She was divorced, and sick of dating and being single. I always told her, jokingly, you've had more men in your life than any one woman deserves, so buck up. I suggested her dating life would make great fodder for a short story. I sat at my computer and told her to recite a characterization of every man she'd dated, starting with the ill-fated relationship with the G.I. in Germany who took her on a date to the Black Forest and didn't get past the first tree, so to speak. I titled the file "Of Men and Bullshit."

Over the next few weeks, that story grew. I had so much fun telling the tale of a fifty-year-old woman who’d not found Mr. Right or a career. I added a few fictional escapades, but the men who appear in the book are real enough. And by the way, I couldn’t fit in all of them.

Once I finished, I decided to enter it in a small regional contest. A few weeks later, I decided to submit it to The Wild Rose Press for publishing. Thank goodness I submitted before I got the contest results back. They trashed my baby. I might have been too discouraged to continue. But TWRP loved it! Publisher wins out over contest judges every time!

In the ten years since publication, the cover has been updated once, and now it’s available on audio in addition to eBook and print. It’s a great summer read.

My sister and I at my book launch

The Wild Rose Press, May 21, 2010
Audio Release date: May 1, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
242 pages
Heat Rating: Sensual

A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire have thrown Sandra Holiday on a dangerous path.

After two failed marriages and countless relationships, Sandra thinks she’s met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans, but also left her single and broke.

Carson Holiday, a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny.

When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again. As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on – or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?

Excerpt: Moon Shadows

“When do you go back to Vegas?”
Carson hesitated. “In a day or two.”
Pulling me around, we stopped, facing each other. My head said run like hell, but my legs wouldn’t respond. Mushy from wine or Carson and moonlight. I couldn’t be sure which.
“Have lunch with me tomorrow, darlin’.” His fingers slipped from mine to gingerly brush along my forearm. The moonlight caught in his eyes. “Another hour of your time with a long-lost friend?”
“Yes.” My voice went all husky and come-hither. I wanted to kick myself for being so easy.
“Good.” Grasping my hand again, he led me toward the door. “What’s the address of your office?”
I struggled to shake off the moon shadows and to remember where I worked. Once inside the building, I took a scrap of paper from my purse and wrote the address.
“I’ll walk you to your door and say goodnight,” he said, tucking the scrap of paper in his pocket. “Unless you want to have me in for a goodnight drink.”
I didn’t answer. If he’d only known the extent of my uncertainty at that moment, a little persistence might have made me cave.
“Okay, then—” His mouth gaped.
I followed his bewildered look to my apartment door and the pinned sheet of paper.

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Brenda Whiteside
About the Author
Brenda Whiteside is the author of suspenseful, action-adventure romance. Mostly. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have decided they are gypsies at heart. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo while splitting their time between Northern Arizona and the RV life. If you enjoy stories by Linda Howard, Sharon Sala, Calle J. Brookes, or Amanda McKinney, you’ll enjoy Brenda’s romantic suspense.

Visit Brenda at


Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks for having me today, M.S. You have a lovely blog.

M. S. Spencer said...

You're so welcome! Sorry to be late to the party, but internet on the fritz today. I know my readers will enjoy your story.