Proud to Join WFWA Board!

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The 2019 election votes are in and I am honored to announce that I will be joining this talented Board of Directors! I look forward to working with Tasha Seegmiller, Lainey Cameron, MM Finck, Michele Montgomery, and Women's Fiction Writers Association members in the coming year!

Women's Fiction Writers Association “is an inclusive organization of writers creating layered stories in which the plot is driven by the main character's emotional journey.”

The organization believes that “women’s fiction heightens human connection, engenders empathy, and illuminates new perspectives. By consciously supporting all voices and providing tools and resources to rigorously develop craft, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association fosters successful careers, meaningful relationships, and the creation of resonant, diverse stories.”

If you write women’s fiction, we’d love to have you join more than 1,000 members — from aspiring and debut authors, to published authors and publishing industry professionals — who come together for craft workshops, webinars, industry news, networking, support, and more.


Facebook Live


📚👠 I had a wonderful time this week during a remote / Facebook Live book discussion on BOOK CLUB WITH STYLE!

FAMILY TREES was chosen as the second book for this new, international online book club, and I was honored. This was my first experience doing a Facebook Live broadcast and I was overjoyed by the questions and comments that came in from all parts of the country, and from as far away as New Zealand and Perth, Australia!

If you’re interested in joining, membership is easy -- simply join us BOOK CLUB WITH STYLE on Facebook.


This month’s book selection is SONG OF A CAPTIVE BIRD by Jasmin Darznik. Click here to read a review:

I look forward to seeing you at the next discussion on Monday, January 7, 2019, at 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET!

Autumn Reflections

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One of the things I loved most about writing my debut novel, FAMILY TREES, was being able to reflect on and describe all four seasons — including my favorite, autumn.

In fact, when I first set out to write the novel, I had planned pay close attention to the seasons as if I were a farmer on my protagonist’s apple orchard in Bayfield, WI. I closely aligned the story ARC with the growing seasons, including Farmer’s Almanac data at the heading of each chapter.

Well, it didn’t take long for me to scrap that idea. I’m certainly not a farmer, so the writing felt forced. I am, however, a lover of the seasons — particularly here in the Midwest.

As I continued writing, reflecting on the sights, smells, and feelings of each season came to me naturally… such as describing the windswept streets of historic Bayfield in early November:

“It was early November and the wind was racing across the lake in shifting shades of grey. Frigid air blew off the water and up into town. Pedestrians wrapped their coats tightly around their bodies, pulling their arms across their chests and leaning into the wind. Dry leaves were swept up and scattered along the edges of porch steps, boulevard gardens, and brick-laid streets. Jack-o-lanterns sat on doorsteps in post-Halloween stupors with tired eyes and drooping, toothy grins. And neighborhood scarecrows, once well dressed and standing straight, now appeared haggard – their hats askew, jackets slipping off their shoulders and straw stuffing falling out of the seams and blowing away with the leaves.” FAMILY TREES

Book Club Kicks Off with STYLE

📚👠 I am delighted to announce that I am co-hosting a NEW online book club with fashion blogger Beth Djalali and award-winning mystery author Hank Phillippi Ryan called BOOK CLUB WITH STYLE!

While building the successful blog, STYLE OF A CERTAIN AGE, Beth realized that many of her readers are also book lovers, so she decided to create a place where everyone could come together to meet authors and discuss books that cover a variety of genres and topics. Each month will feature a different book with monthly "live" online chats with the featured author.

We're currently reading TRUST ME, the latest novel by our fellow co-host, Hank Phillippi Ryan. Hank will be leading the book club discussion of this novel on Monday, Nov. 12, on the club’s Facebook site.

Please join us! Membership is easy -- simply join us here: .

For more information:

Available at your favorite bookseller



Poppy Power


I am so grateful to belong to such a dynamic, talented group of authors! With great books, interesting conversations with industry leaders and readers, wine partnerships, and more... there's something for everyone! 


Buy a Candle, Win a Novel



We're announcing some fun news on BLOOM today... The Tall Poppy Writers has collaborated with Book Scents Candles on an exclusive BLOOM candle! It smells divine and is the perfect gift for your book club hostess, your child's new teacher, a book lover's birthday, and YOU.

This candle is a special collaboration between BookScents Candles and Tall Poppies, with proceeds going to our "ROOM TO READ" campaign as part of the Tall Poppies' mission to support literacy programs for women and girls.


If you pre-order by AUG. 31, you will receive a complimentary Tall Poppy novel* along with your BLOOM candle! You won't know which one! It will be a surprise when it ships after 9/4. And you never know... it might even be one of my titles! (*while supplies last).

Happy Reading!

-- Kerstin




Author Auction This Week

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In addition to connecting authors and readers, The Tall Poppy Writers believe in giving back. We have individually donated over $100K to literacy and literacy causes. This week, we're hosting an online auction to help raise money for ROOM TO READ. The auction items include signed novels, book club visits, character naming, manuscript critiques, consultations, and query help! (including copies of FAMILY TREES and BRANCHING OUT, along with a Skype/Facetime book club visit by yours truly!) 

Why Room to Read? Many world problems can be addressed through one solution: education. Knowing how to read makes people safer, healthier and more self-sufficient — yet nearly 800 million people are illiterate and two-thirds are women and girls. That’s why Room to Read focuses on deep, systemic transformation within schools in low-income countries during the two most critical time periods in a child’s schooling: early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls’ education (from

I hope you can join us! You can find the auction here: Thanks!

Are you in BLOOM?


I feel incredibly fortunate to belong to the Tall Poppy Writers, an organization of 42 female authors who support one another professionally while celebrating great books with the literary community and its readers.  

Earlier this year, we launched a Facebook group called BLOOM -- a place for readers and Poppy writers to connect, win great book giveaways, and have fun. Each week a different Tall Poppy Writer hosts BLOOM, keeping the site vibrant and personal.  

You're invited to join us -- I hope to see you there!   BLOOM




Winter Warm-Up

Looking for a Friday Read? FAMILY TREES is only $1.99 on all eBook devices! 

"Fans of intelligent contemporary romance will enjoy this story of love, forgiveness, and growing into adulthood. " -- St. Paul Pioneer Press. <3

Home for the Holidays

[Originally posted on Tall Poppy Writers, 12/13/16]

It’s that time of year again. The trees are sparkling with lights, doorways are dressed in ribbons and wreaths, and on the radio Perry Como croons, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.”

As I write this, a snowstorm is brewing outside while I’m curled up in a big chair in the living room. I’m thinking about the word “home.” Literally speaking, a home is the place where people live their lives. Some people reflect upon the past and their childhood when they think of home. And for others, it is that intuitive sense of well-being and the feeling of being “at home.” For me, home also means family.

Looking back to last year, I think it was fitting that my novel Branching Out was released in December because it’s a story about importance of “home,” as well as family roots and how a person’s upbringing influences their life decisions.

Branching Out is the second book in the “Meyers Orchard” series, which began with Family Trees and a character named Shelby Meyers. Home is a safe haven for Shelby. She grew up under the care of her grandparents in a small northern Wisconsin town on Lake Superior, a place that was a blessing for her as a child, but is now a crutch that prevents her from moving on as a young adult. She meets an aspiring photographer named Ryan Chambers, an “out-of-towner” who’s grappling with his own sense of home and belonging. Over time, he inspires her to take a chance on a life that exists beyond the limits of her hometown.

“If your dream is to continue the life your family started for you here, then embrace it,” [Ryan] said gently. “But if it is to do something more, then don’t be afraid to pull up your roots and follow your own dreams. That’s what I’m trying to do. That’s why I’m here.” (Family Trees)

When I set out to write the sequel, Branching Out, I wanted to further explore the relationship between Shelby and her estranged mother, Jackie. It was a fascinating process as a writer, because I could really delve into what motivated Jackie to mistreat Shelby in the first novel. I realized that while her actions were unforgivable, her intentions had always been good. Jackie wanted Shelby to have something she couldn’t provide – a loving home. And when Jackie and Shelby return home during the holidays, with Shelby now married and living in Chicago, there is a shift between them.

“You’re never gone, Shelby. Your presence is everywhere in that house, as it should be,” [Jackie] said. “I’m comfortable there because, for the first time in a very long time, it feels like home to me as well.”

Shelby let that sink in for a moment, the idea of home. It was ironic that her mother was now the one who felt settled on the family property, while Shelby was the one who felt detached. (Branching Out)

In Branching Out, when life becomes too much for Shelby, she retreats back to that safe haven. In fiction, as in life, there are times when you try to return to a place from your past, but it’s never truly the same. Life evolves. I decided that Shelby needed return to the comfort of her childhood home to escape a crisis, only to realize that her feelings of being “at home” had changed. In that moment, she was able to reconcile her past with her future.

The ferry was making its way to the marina, where she could see a line of cars waiting for their turn to cross Chequamegon Bay to Madeline Island. Farther out on the lake, a cluster of half a dozen sailboats were catching the last of the day’s winds before twilight set in. Their sails were full and bright against the steel-blue Lake Superior waters. [Shelby] heard the call of a gull in the distance and children laughing as they raced barefoot through the grass behind her. 

She was home. (Branching Out)

Wishing you a happy holiday, from my home to yours.

– Kerstin

Celebrating the Apple

The Bayfield, WI, Apple Festival was my inspiration while writing Ch. 13 of FAMILY TREES. I have been attending the event since childhood, and look forward to returning again this year!

Excerpt from FAMILY TREES:

It was the first weekend in October, which meant Bayfield’s annual Applefest celebration was in full swing. Everywhere Shelby looked, people crowded together along Main Street eating a gastronomical hodgepodge of smoked turkey legs, kettle corn, and sausage. The crisp air was ripe with a pungent blend of charcoal and fry bread, brown butter, and cinnamon. 

And then there were the apples. Thousands of them. Carameled and quartered. Candied and spiced. Pies, sundaes, streusel, and brats. Transient vendors peddled apple bakers, peelers, corers, and dippers. And in the center of it all, the Big Top Chautauqua band played bluegrass from a flatbed truck.

For more information about the event: Bayfield Apple Festival 

When the Words Come Naturally

by Kerstin March
Originally published in Women Writers, Womens' Books

When I set out to write my first novel, I knew the setting before I had fully mapped out my storyline. It was a given that FAMILY TREES would take place in Bayfield, Wis., a picturesque town on the shore of Lake Superior. My family had fallen in love with the area long before I was born, and today, I consider it a second home.

While writing a fictional love story about my characters Shelby Meyers and Ryan Chambers, I found that I was also writing about my real love for the setting – the lake and Apostle Islands, the unpredictable weather changes, and the way the breeze that comes off of the water can pick up the distinct scent of balsam – I had a lifetime of recollections from which to draw upon. Compared to the trial and errors of writing my first manuscript, whenever I worked on setting, the words seemed to come naturally.

In fact, just a few pages into the first chapter, I realized that the role of Lake Superior was more than just a place in my novel – for me, it was an important character:

Bayfield was populated with an eclectic blend of artists, craftsmen, and mariners. It was a place where the Chippewa culture ran as deep as the lake. A town where whitewashed clapboard houses and picket fences were reminiscent of immigrants who made their living fishing, lumbering, and quarrying for brownstone. It was the home to families who loved the land, their children, and the lives they built. This was a community that buttoned up in the wintertime, braving barren isolation, ice road lake crossings, and bitter cold temperatures. In reward, they basked in the glorious summer sun amidst lavender lupine, shimmering poplars, and fragrant apple trees.  

And the grand force of it all was the lake herself. As lovely and temperamental as a woman, Lake Superior could dazzle admirers one moment and then, without warning, lash out in fury. When gentle, she would allow a kayak to lightly caress her sparkling surface. And when wicked, she could take a man’s breath away and swallow him whole into her icy belly.

This was home. Shelby couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. **

As authors, we have the joy of being able to create unique worlds in which our characters live. It may be a single room, a ship lost at sea, or a vibrant city that exists in another time period. Once characters leave the confines of their homes, sailing vessels or buildings and they venture outdoors – beyond the backyard, under the waves, or into a darkened city park – the fictional world suddenly becomes more than a place, because nature is alive, unpredictable, and in a constant state of change. It is in those settings where writers have opportunities to use nature to help advance the story forward, amplify tension, set mood, and create unforeseen challenges.

The skies had been a tranquil gray all morning, but now, without warning, their color turned sinister. In the time it took the two men to pull in the lines and pack their gear, the intensity of the wind had grown and snow began to fall heavy and wet. They had no way of knowing that just around the point a swath of ice was breaking apart and open water was churning. The waves were building quickly and surely, creating powerful movement beneath the ice. Section by section, the underwater force was shattering the serene, glass-like surface that Ryan had admired all morning. 

In most novels, there are also instances when an author needs to move a character from one place to another. These simple transitions can be the perfect places to use setting to add interest during a rather routine action, or provide an additional nuance to a character’s personality. When I needed Shelby to leave her grandparents’ home and drive her truck into town, where she would eventually meet Ryan, I used her walk across a gravel driveway as an opportunity to show her ease in a rural setting:

All was quiet aside from the sound of her footsteps. She sensed a shift occurring in the nearby woods, a changing of the guards, of nocturnal creatures heading for their burrows while the sun-loving animals were just beginning to stir. 

Perhaps my favorite use of nature is creating descriptions that reflect characters’ emotions. When doing this, I tend to think more as a poet than as a storyteller. For example, I incorporated the Northern Lights into a scene when Ryan realized he was falling in love with Shelby.

First rose toned, then a golden orange, and finally a blazing emerald green. From the corner of his eye he saw a brightening overhead. Looking skyward, he uttered his amazement. He watched in awe as a kaleidoscope of light shifted and blended fluidly above them. It was as if God was orchestrating a silent symphony in the skies. Inspired, Ryan reached across the blanket for Shelby’s hand before realizing she’d likely pull away. Instead, she entwined her fingers with his and he felt a rush of desire sweep through him. Cast in the light of aurora borealis, with Shelby at his side, Ryan was at a loss for words. This woman—this place—had made him feel more alive than ever before. 

For anyone who is struggling with setting, I would recommend relying on your senses when imaging what your character can see, hear, smell, touch and taste in the world that you have created. A scene that is set on the sidelines of a parade, for example, is so much more than crowds, colorful floats, and high school bands. It’s the feel of cellophane-wrapped candy being strewn about your feet from a passing float; the heat that radiates off of a sun-baked city street; the aromas of popcorn, sunscreen, and truck exhaust; the taste of salty perspiration on your lips; and the pounding pulse you feel in your chest when the drum core marches by.

Simply close your eyes and rely on your senses. The words will come naturally.

** NOTE: Passages are from FAMILY TREES, by Kerstin March.

Kerstin March is the author of the novels, FAMILY TREES and BRANCHING OUT (Kensington Publishing). Currently writing her third novel, Kerstin lives in Minnesota with her husband and their three children. When her family isn’t scrambling with work, school, and errands, they can often be found up north, braving ice cold swims, fish boils, and bear scares on Lake Superior’s shore. Kerstin is a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers and Romance Writers of America. 

4th of July Promotion

In celebration of Independence Day, KOBO is running a weekend E-book promotion for FAMILY TREES -- only $2.99 now through July 6!  In celebration of Independence Day, KOBO is running a weekend E-book promotion for FAMILY TREES -- only $2.99 now through July 6!



Let's Hit the Beach

To celebrate summer -- and the one-year anniversary of my debut novel entering the world -- I'm delighted to announce that e-book copies of FAMILY TREES are on sale through July 31!

"A wonderful debut novel with adorable, but struggling characters. March is a stellar new author, and her research of the Bayfield area really shines." -- RT Book Reviews

Happy Summer!

Tall Poppies!

I'm thrilled to announce that I have been accepted into the Tall Poppy Writers -- a community of dynamic, accomplished authors! I look forward to sharing the group's literary news and book recommendations with you, as the goal of the Tall Poppy Book Club is to connect smart readers to smart books that make them think and that resonate with their own experiences. I encourage you to check them out at The Tall Poppy Writers :-)