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By Sean Colligan

In an increasingly turbulent and uncertain world like ours, finding ways to take a breather from reality have become increasingly important. There’s a good deal of research that suggests spending more time away from social media and the omnipresent news cycle usually warrants positive results, not to mention the calming health benefits of reading an old-fashioned paperback. But if you’re looking to dive into a book with a little more believability than most fantasy or sci-fi titles and more timely relevance than a Victorian drama, you might want to consider the romance section.

Few know this better than USA Today bestselling author Maggie Way, who’s been exploring the romance sections of countless bookstores since she was 13 years old. Now an accomplished author with a growing readership and an entire romance series under her belt, Maggie describes herself best in her own words: “an office worker by day and a sassy romance author by night.” Long established as a self-published author, she’s chosen to find a publishing company to put out her latest and most anticipated novel, Heart of Thorne (pszr.co/zZeQK).

Maggies’s crowdfunding campaign page on Publishizer is rife with titillating descriptions and overviews of this latest work, a story “filled with secrets and lies, struggles with family, social status, power, heart-stopping twists and turns, and shocking revelations.” She pitches the story as “a cross between The Notebook and Dynasty — you’ve got the tragic love story, mixed with the family and social intrigue. Brother against brother, death threat after death threat, love triangles, rectangles even.”

At the center of all this romantic geometry are Mia Winters, a young woman trying to chase her dreams in Chicago, and Roman Thorne, her now-engaged ex-lover who suddenly reappears in her life. As one might expect, it doesn’t take long for the flame of passion they once shared to reignite. For this novel, Maggie wanted to explore one question that anchors her story: what would your morals be worth in the face of love?

“I was inspired to write the book after this question randomly came to me,” Maggie says. “I really wanted to write my ultimate love story, where the odds are so high and everything is against the couple. But they’ll do whatever it takes to be with each other — the classic, tragic romance. Heart of Thorne is very much a homage to my favorite novels like The Notebook, Bridges of Madison County, Bared to You, and Fifty Shades of Grey because they were the books that kept me up all night, and the couples really got me swooning and excited.”

While many of those titles that influenced her follow certain formulas and clichés, Maggie worked to avoid those when writing Heart of Thorne, which she describes as “timeless, yet fresh at the same time.” In other words, she didn’t want to sugarcoat the harsh realities of love.

“A lot of the romance books I encounter,” she remarks, “have a big focus on the happy ending, and I want to bring the tragic love story back. Love takes work, and my story aims to highlight that.”

Speaking of work, writing a novel in one’s spare time is no easy feat, and Maggie’s latest novel is undoubtedly a labor of love. Challenging though it was, she fondly remembers how she started Heart of Thorne and the moment when, even after writing her Entangle Me novella series, she first realized she wanted to be a writer: “When I first started the story, I had the biggest writing burst and wrote about 30,000 words in a week. The feeling of creating a story from the very figment of my imagination was absolutely euphoric and now I can’t get enough.”

After self-publishing all of her other work, Maggie is now crowdfunding a campaign to release Heart of Throne to a wider audience of readers through Publishizer. Thus far, she has nothing but positive things to say about the experience: “I had planned to query to agents/publishers for the launch but then I read about Publishizer in the Writers and Artists Yearbook and was intrigued by the idea. After researching the company some more, the idea to crowdfund the book made perfect sense to me — I had already built a small but loyal audience, so I already had that to my advantage over other indie authors. The process to become published was also noticeably faster than the usual query process, so after talking to Publishizer I decided to go for it.

“It’s been a great experience. They have a great support team and really want to see their authors succeed.”

Those who preorder Heart of Thorne are also eligible for prizes like her entire back-catalog of books or a one-on-one Q&A session with Maggie.

In her latest literary undertaking, Maggiehopes to bring her own edge to the romance genre.

“If you are expecting a sugary, fairy tale happy ending with this book you won’t get it,” she says. “I wrote Heart of Thorne intentionally as an emotional romance saga, so Mia and Roman will have a lot of obstacles (hopefully fun to read through!) before they get to the conclusion. I think people are either going to love or hate this book, and I’m prepared for that.”

As for her long-term goals, she has other plans in mind: “I would like to achieve what any author dreams of: world domination!”

To support Maggie’s book dreams and to get an advanced copy of her new book, Heart of Thorne, visit https://pszr.co/zZeQK

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