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Speaking Engagements

Vanessa loves to talk “shop” and she'd be happy to bring her humor and knowledge to your group, conference, retreat… anywhere. No matter what size the audience or the topic, she will work with you to deliver an enlightening and memorable event.
Click here to contact Vanessa about a speaking engagement.
Currently Available Topics:
Practical Guide to Self-Publishing – Beginner
In this presentation we’ll discuss the basics of self-publishing, comparing traditional to self-pubbing. We’ll also talk about costs, marketing, to-do lists and pitfalls to avoid.
Practical Guide to Self-Publishing – Intermediate
This takes over where the beginner presentation ends. We will touch on the items discussed in the beginner course and delve further into marketing and selling strategies.
Romance, Women’s Fiction and Everything in Between
What is Women’s Fiction? What is Romance? We’ll take this opportunity to discuss the differences between some of the most popular Romance genres and the difference between romance, fiction and women’s fiction.
Do you have a special topic you'd like to discuss? please contact Vanessa here and she’ll work with you and your group. Vanessa can taylor your presentation to the topic and timeframe you need.

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Ritter University Series


MR WebsiteMajor Renovations

A summer romance, built to last.

Ritter University Novella - Book One

Andrezj Kaminski—Ski to his friends—has always wanted to be a doctor. At least that’s what his father tells him. Ski’s not so sure. With medical school no longer a foregone conclusion, Ski suddenly has no purpose, no direction. He has no idea what he wants to do—football and wrestling don’t count.

Samantha Thunder's life is overflowing with two-by-fours and sacks of mortar. She doesn’t have time for romance, especially pretty frat-boys with dreamy pecs. She needs to run the family construction business, whether she likes it or not—which means staying far, far away from big, muscled distractions.

Unfortunately, she can’t stay far, far away, no matter how hard she tries. This summer, Samantha is managing the renovation of the Phi Rho fraternity house on the Ritter University campus, and Ski is babysitting the house while he pretends to take some summer classes.

The pressure is on for both of them to make some major decisions—about their future, and about each other. Walking away may be the best answer.

If only they could…

Click the desired link below to purchase:  



College WebsiteWhat Happens in College...

One upload. One thousand likes. One lapse in judgment and she lost it all.

Ritter University Novel - Book Two

Egged house, keyed cars, and lawsuits all behind her, Karina Wolfe needs to bury her past deep beneath the skeletons in her closet. No one can ever find out what she did. No one.

Her freshman year at Ritter University is the perfect opportunity to re-invent a better, shinier, more responsible Karina. Her goal? Keep her head down and stay away from the thing that screwed up her life in the first place—guys. It shouldn’t be that hard, in theory. If only Ryan Kent wasn't so darn gorgeous.

Ryan Kent is the poster child for responsibility. He’s always done what’s expected of him. He didn’t have much choice. But now that his mother's cancer is under control, he finally feels free. Almost. If he could only convince his dad to trust him to make his own choices, life would be good. If he could get Karina to take a chance on him, life would be perfect.

Ryan doesn't know what Karina did before they met. Karina doesn't know how to protect Ryan. When taking chances collide with trust, can what happens in college endure, or will it stay in college?


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Christmas Breakdown websiteChristmas Breakdown

Who says you can go home again?

Ritter University Novel - Book Three

As long as Nica Bradley can remember, she has relied on her Gram. So after an epic meltdown at college where her graphic design dreams are crushed, her car naturally heads back home. With the holidays around the corner, a little Christmas cheer is just what she needs to gain new perspective. Instead, she returns home to find her gram has given away her bedroom to a hot, annoying Lat-intruder. She's torn between wanting to kick the man from her bed and join him.

Cruz Lazaro loves living at Gram’s, until her granddaughter comes home for winter break and disrupts everything he's built. She’s bossy and demanding. And considerate and kind. She’s everything he’s looking for—too bad he’s not looking.

They're a disaster waiting to happen. But maybe a little disaster is just what they need to get their lives back on track.




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RI ecover1Rushing In


Sometimes love makes you close your eyes and jump in, no matter the cost.


Ritter University Novel - Book Four


Always the good girl, Megan Stewart has lived her life imprisoned by others' expectations, always doing what's she's told, waiting for her life to begin. Ritter's University is her chance to break away. Her new beginning. To finally get the life she wants. But somehow she's falling into the same patterns, the same habits. She never takes a chance. Never takes a risk.

 ...Until Danny.

 Danny Jones is the kind of guy parents fear: tattoos and all kinds of sex appeal wrapped up in trouble. No one knows the things he's seen, the things he's done. They haven't lived through the shit he's lived through or earned the scars he has to show for it. No one knows, because he's never had the time or the desire to let anyone in.

 ...Until Megan.

 They are all wrong for each other, but they can't stop themselves from rushing in.


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Soph Slump web1Sophomore Slump
Controlling her life was easy… Her dreams? Not so much.
Ritter University Novel - Book Five


Savannah Whitley's pastor father did his best to shelter her from all the evils of the world on their family farm, but that wasn’t enough to keep her safe or make it any easier to carry her pain and guilt in silence for most of her life. Everything changes when she meets Joe—he’s her dream come true and the love of her life. 


Joe Kaminski has lost everyone he loves--his parents, his friends, and his belief in himself. All he has left is college and the best thing that’s ever happened to him… Savannah. Despite the happiness he finds with her, Joe can’t stop drowning in the sorrows of his past and the troubles in the present. Will his love for Savannah be enough to drag him out of the bottle before he loses her forever?


Savannah’s been sheltered from almost everything. Joe doesn’t know what shelter even means. Together they don’t make sense… but they can’t bear to be apart.


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Parker cover websiteThe Makeup Test


When you've lost everything is when the true test begins


Ritter University Novel - Book Six


Parker Breckinridge is a sophomore in college and already running her own online fledgling cosmetics business. She works hard, creating her own identity, so she can separate herself from the drama and disappointment of her wealthy family.


Cade Adler doesn’t do relationships—especially relationships with uptight princesses. Been there. Done that. Destroyed the T-shirt. Besides, what with working full-time as a police officer and going to school, who has time for women? Not him.


Cade is both perfect for Parker and totally wrong at the same time. So, when she’s forced to choose between her family and Cade – she has to decide-- the man who lets her be herself, or the family she needs.


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Chicago’s Finest Series


Second Times The Charm Full Cover - Copy

 Second Time’s the Charm

They say your first love is unforgettable, but Allison Southby would love to forget. Thankfully, she’s always had her work to keep her mind off her non-existent love life. But when her boss and mentor dies mysteriously, and a rival company threatens to steal their customers, her focus should be on preserving her mentor’s legacy and the company she loves…and yet, she can’t keep her mind—or her hands—off her late boss’s son, Adam. Who just happens to be the same man who left her heart in pieces when he ran from her bed after a single night together, and has kept her at arm’s length ever since.

Detective Adam Byrnes needs to get back to the life he’s built in Phoenix. Sure, it’s far from his family, but it also keeps him away from Allison…and temptation. But between the questions surrounding his father’s death, and keeping Allison safe, he can’t seem to leave the city of Chicago.

With danger swirling around them, can they find the love they once shared?

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Stark Raving Mad websiteStark Raving Mad

Heartbreak and danger follow wherever she goes, but can his love save her before her past destroys their future?

Brooklyn Southby has everything she’s ever wanted—partnership in a law firm, a beautiful house in the suburbs, and a wonderful boyfriend. Well, ex-boyfriend. Her heart troubles are the least of her problems, though, when her first case comes back to haunt her in the form of an angry, sadistic man with bad hair.

Joe Perretti deals with his own issues the only way he knows how—hiding behind his work. As a homicide detective with the Chicago Police Department, there’s never enough hours in the day for a social life or a woman, at least until he’s given the task of protecting Brooklyn Southby.

Business and pleasure collide as his life becomes all about keeping her safe, whether she likes it or not.

Will they find love, or will they be destroyed by a man who is stark raving mad?

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CoverComingSoonStealing Vegas

Her heart and life are in danger. Can Shay protect one without losing the other?

Shay Washington likes things simple. Her job as a Chicago Police Detective is hard enough without adding the drama of finding a man, dating a man and tolerating a man. After all, men tend to get all weird, since her gun is bigger than theirs. She just hasn't perfected the damsel in distress. But she's in Las Vegas—the city of sin. It's time to cut loose, raise a toast and lose control. And then came Garret, all gorgeous green eyes and muscles… What could go wrong with one little hookup in Vegas?

Garret Doyle has a plan. He's worked his way up from nothing and he plans on staying on top. His security team at Pura Vida hotel is top notch, natch. So, when a gorgeous Chicago Police Detective walks into his hotel, he’s got it covered. He’ll keep his distance. He refuses to get involved with anyone who will just up and leave again.

Shay and Garret are forced together by a ring of thefts, but will the bright lights of Vegas blind them from what’s important. Can they find the thief before they lose their hearts?

 Click the desired link below to purchase:

    Available from MuseItUp 2017




VMK headshot

About The Author

As a child, before I would go to sleep at night in the suburbs of Chicago, I would take the time to read. When I cracked open a book, even at the innocent age of ten, I couldn’t seem to put it down. I would skip television… <gasp>… for the chance to finish the great read in my hands. I mean, how do you turn away from the antics of Judy Blume’s, Fudge? And don’t get me started on Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys. I would visualize my wedding to Joe Hardy (In Shaun Cassidy form…<swoon>).

Didn’t everyone?

My pre-teen years brought about a new type of book. I couldn’t seem to sleep without the covers partially covering my head. My eyes would jet between the Tigerbeat covered walls and the dark ceiling, following a Christopher Pike or VC Andrews book. They scared the bejezzus out of me. Yet, every time they concocted a new mixture of words on paper, I was first in line to purchase the torturous tomes.

Barbara Conklin, Caroline B Cooney… They solidified my love of reading. Gone were the quirky children and spine-tingling fear. My new love was teen romance. The nightlight beside my bed would burn till all hours of the night, as I cursed the authors portraying such captivating stories that my sleep deprived eyes clawed through just one more chapter, over and over again.

My own writing journey started during this time. I found that putting words to paper was a release. Unfortunately, I never saw the release as anything more than that. It wouldn’t be until I was married-with-child and miserably slogging through the daily nine-to-five grind, that I would revisit the hand written stories of old (See kids… when I was younger, computers were in schools… very rarely in homes. How did we document our lives, you ask? Pen and paper…<wince> OK I’m showing my age, but at least I didn’t say quill and parchment.)

I revisited an old story, that is currently hidden somewhere in the great abyss (AKA… my closet).  That story is mercifully lost forever (or till I can afford to hire someone to clean my closet.)  However, what did come from that unfortunate first attempt was a drive to keep trying. Ideas sprang to my mind as I watched friends, family and co-workers.

Have you ever said, “You can’t make that up.”? I said those words… often, as I feverishly wrote down the occurrences on scraps of paper. My purse was a wasteland of post-its and torn receipts, thoughts littered among the wreckage. From the debris, stories grew and morphed into the works you see today.

My husband, son and plethora of animals support my insanity, while regularly rolling their eyes at the random things that stream from my mouth…

“So honey, I was thinking of writing a book about this family that drives cattle using spaceships…”

“What do you know about cattle? Or spaceships?” Adoring husband asks.

“Nothing, but doesn’t it sound interesting?” <Insert gratuitous male eye roll here>

Even though that project died mid-flight, many others have taken hold. As I begin a new literary adventure, my excitement grows. I can’t wait to share it. As you read each book, I hope you feel the exhilaration and love poured into each page. I hope you get entrenched in the imaginary world, turning to your own bedside light burning till all hours of the night, cursing my name as you read just one more chapter. That is my dream.


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