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Feature Friday
enchanted_heart_coverAuthor: Mindy Ruiz
Title: Enchanted Heart
Published On: June 4th 2014
Series: Game of Hearts #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
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Cassandra Vera never ever broke the rules.


She’s also had a nonexistent social life since her best friend moved to Vegas. Armed with a new set of resolutions, the promise of a hot date, and her adoptive parents out of town, seventeen-year-old Cassandra agrees to a road trip, which is the perfect way to celebrate her birthday and ring in the New Year. After all, she’s headed to Vegas, the city where secrets are meant to stay hidden. Little does Cassandra know her past is buried there as well.

Cloaked in the shadows of the glitz and gaudy lights of Vegas lies a power struggle centuries old. One wrong step and Cassandra could destroy the delicate web of secrets. Now an enemy she never knew existed is after her, and the one boy who may be the missing piece to the puzzle — and her heart— is the one person she can’t afford to trust.



Why did you decide to become a writer?

My first story was improperly classified as a lie when I was in preschool. I told my teacher my dad was an airline pilot and traveling to China. You can imagine her surprise when my dad picked me up from school that day. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Some awesome story was forever trying to root in my brain. I finally took the *big step* three years ago. Left the family business and started crafting Enchanted Heart.

Who/what are your writing inspirations?

I pull inspiration from just about everything, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d say the creative juices start flowing with music. Enchanted Heart was a mash up of what-if’s when I heard Katy Perry’s Waking Up in Vegas and Lady Gaga’s Poker Face back to back.

What are your favorite genres to read?

I love a good romance. Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical, Fantasy. Give me a girl and boy who are supposed to be together, fated to be together, but have every obstacle and heart ache thrown in their way, hurt each other in a way that makes me ugly, snot-cry, and despite all of that … end up together. *sigh* It always satisfies the hopeless romantic in me.

Favorite writing food / snack?

I either go very healthy with cucumbers or very unhealthy with chocolate covered moose munch, and sometimes the occasional peach mojito to get me through those tough scenes.

What do you hope readers take away most from your writing?

Great question! Hope and strength. I want readers to feel that no matter how crappy the situation, how small you feel, how powerless you may be, there is a place inside you that is just waiting to be tapped; a reservoir of awesome specific to you.

Who’s the favorite character of yours that you’ve written and why?

I love Olivia. She is so in your face and honest. She’s the type of girl that will walk into hell with you and make the devil himself quiver when she passes the threshold. I think everyone needs an Olivia in their life.

What is your writing style? Outliner/Planner or Seat of the Pantser?

I started out a pure pantser then gagged when Enchanted Heart came in at 135,000 words.I thought, “hmmm, maybe I should give that Pantser in me an outline instead.” I took C.J. Redwine’s plotting class and realized I could be a pantser with a plan.

If someone wanted to become a writer, what tips would you give to them?

Run, do not walk, to C.J. Redwine’s classes. The woman is a freaking genius. Invest in the classes from Writer’s Digest, Savvy Author, and the twitter chats for your genre. Learn. Read. Learn. Read. Learn, read and then learn and read some more. Oh, and sign up for Janet Wallace, StandUPWriters’ course through Social Deviants. It will seriously change your writing life. Did I mention you should learn and read?

Have you ever purchased something from a late-night infomercial? If so, what?

HA! I have!!! I am a late-night info junkie! The only one I’ll admit to purchasing though is the Vidalia chopper. Dude, I can chop with the best of them with that thing!

If you could collaborate with any other author(living, dead, or undead) who would that be and why?

Sheez! It’d have to be a threesome: Jennifer Armentrout, Rachel Harris and Edgar Allen Poe. Jennifer’s mind is amazing. The girl can make you feelz all sorts of emotions and lose yourself for hours! And then there’s Daemon. *Swoon* Rachel, the girl has a talent to genre hop and I’d love to watch her brain switch from a YA to a hot and heavy HEA. Poe. The man’s The Oval Portrait haunts me every time I sit down to write. It also is my reminder to be present. When I’m writing I give it my full attention and then, when the kids and the husband come home, I shut the door and give the family every ounce of me. I never want them to think they have to compete with my love of words.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you do?

Teach. I’d definitely be a college professor. My junior college English professor made me who I am. He forced me to dig in and not half-ass it. The C- I earned in his course is my proudest accomplishment.

Coke, Pepsi, or?

Coke, my grandpa Doc loved the stuff and it stuck. He was adamant that there was a difference. When I’m missing him, I can pop a can and hear his voice telling me all the ways Pepsi is not Coke.

What’s one thing people should know and/or don’t know about you?

Oooh. Hmmm. I’m crazy optimistic. There can be a drop of condensation in a glass and the sucker is half full in my opinion.

Is there a character that has the most “You” in them? Or the opposite of you?

Carina is very much like me. She’s so misunderstood in the beginning of Enchanted Heart and willing to take all the crap that’s thrown her way because she knows at some point the big picture will come into focus.

If we lived in a Fahrenheit 451 culture, which book would you want to memorize?

It may sound cliché and not very popular, but I’d want to memorize the Bible. Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and given six months to live. It was my faith, my husband, and the Bible I clung to during the ten months of experimental chemo. I couldn’t imagine living in a world with out books and, if I had only one to memorize, it would be the one that saw me through the darkest period of my life.


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