Guest Blogger: Staci Troilo on Love Stories and Fathers

I’m super excited about today’s guest blogger. Staci Troilo has become a good friend in a short time, and wow, does she have a great post to share today! I was excited when I saw the title. Why? Because, as a writer, all of my books place a strong emphasis on family relationships, with the vast majority involving a father-figure in one manner or another. And if that isn’t enough, Staci discusses the difference between…well, you’ll just have to read and see for your yourself, as I don’t want to lessen the impact of this marvelous post.

Please welcome back Staci Troilo with Love Stories and Fathers


Hi, Mae. Thanks for asking me back. And hi, everyone. I appreciate you giving me a few moments of your time today.

The working title for the first novel I wrote was Daddy Issues. I say “working title” because the publisher didn’t like it for a mystery. At the time, I thought they were insane. That title was perfect. Now I’m on the fence. True, it’s not the standard mystery title, but given the humor in the book, its originality could work in the story’s favor. But it’s a moot point. They changed the title to Mystery Heir. That title doesn’t really do anything for me, but what’s done is done.

Why am I telling you all this?

a surgeon in cap, mask and gownMy first novel had all kinds of dads—from the idyllic Brady Bunch dad to the epitome of a deadbeat. In my new release, Out and About, I’ve got two domineering fathers. A doctor and a lawyer, both successful, both opinionated, and both with definite thoughts about their kids.

I call this series mainstream fiction, but the novels in it are really love stories. Not romances, but love stories.

What’s the difference?

Some say a romance has a happily-ever-after ending, but love stories endings aren’t so cut-and-dried. Others say romances start before the couple is together and end when they commit to each other, where love stories start with a couple who is already together, but in a troubled relationship.

I don’t know that any of that matters. In my romances, there is often a lot of other stuff going on, but the story couldn’t exist without the relationship arc. In my love stories, if we took the relationship out of the equation, we would still have a story. Possibly a different story with a different focus, but still a story.

I always identified myself as a romance writer. But a few years ago, my agent told me the NY market was saturated. Editors said my writing was sound, but they just didn’t have an opening for me. So she asked me to switch genres. I was sad. Then angry. I resisted, then I acquiesced, only to feel like a sell-out. I finally fired my agent and started working with a small press who loved the concept of my Medici Protectorate romance series. But I had made so much progress on my mainstream novel, I decided to finish it. Not that it was easy. I resisted that story from nearly beginning to end.

Then the most amazing thing happened.

I fell in love with it. Once it wasn’t a requirement for me to complete but a labor of love, I was hooked. The result was Type and Cross, a love story that went on to receive a 5-star rating from Readers’ Favorite. Fans adore that story. And I got hooked on those characters.

That begrudged standalone novel became the first book in one of my favorite series to write.

Out and About, book two of what is now called the Cathedral Lake series, was a joy to write. The words just flowed. And yes, it’s another love story. Why not a romance? Because the real story is about two people with daddy issues, who get caught up in a dangerous situation, who have to address their relationships with their families and their positions in their professional fields.

Two people who may be in love. But that’s not really what the story is about.

Silhouette of a couple embracing on the shore of a lakeWhat is it about? Here’s the description:

Freedom from jail. Freedom from family.

Jensen Keller covets freedom. Probably because he doesn’t have any. He’s abided by his father’s every whim for years. Until the one time he rebelled. And nearly lost his family. Now he’s been summoned back to Cathedral Lake only to discover freedom has been granted to the one person who should be eternally denied it—Wade Unger, the man responsible for his sister’s death.

Bella Perish wants nothing more than to be free from her domineering father. In an unexpected turn of events, she’s not only granted freedom from him—autonomy is forced on her. And her budding relationship with Jensen looks like collateral damage. As she works to repair the relationships that matter most to her, her new found independence is compromised. Worse, her very life is threatened.

An account of repression, revelation, bravery, and contrition, Out and About chronicles the merits and miseries of freedoms denied and gained.

If that interests you, perhaps you’ll enjoy this brief excerpt:

Book cover for Out and About by Staci Troilo with open handcuffs and a bullet blast hole“Why didn’t you tell me you were a defense attorney?”

“Why didn’t you tell me your family was a victim of a crime?”

“Who walks around saying that?” His words, too loud for a private discussion, carried through the hallway and caused people to turn their gazes on him. He grabbed her arm, pulled her aside, away from the crowd, and lowered his voice. “Seriously. When people first meet, they discuss their careers. They don’t mention the most horrible events in their histories. That’s at least a third date discussion.”

She scoffed. “That’s not my understanding of what happens on a third date.”

He gritted his teeth, clenched his fists. “Now’s not the time, Bella. You should have said something.”

“I told you I work for my father. That’s he’s difficult. If you were really interested, you could have looked us up. Then you would have known.”

“How? You never even told me your last name.”

That left her momentarily speechless. When she finally spoke, her tone sounded resigned. “You’re right. I guess I didn’t. I felt like I was really getting to know you. It didn’t occur to me that I never gave you my full name. Or asked yours. Which, by the way, you never volunteered.”

Jensen sighed. “Yeah, well, that part’s not all your fault.”

“So, are we good?”

His mouth popped open, and he had to make a determined effort to close it. “You’re kidding, right?”

“What? It was just a little misunderstanding.”

“A little—” He ran his hand through his hair. “Bella, I’m here to try to keep a man behind bars. A man who killed my sister and nearly destroyed my family. How can I possibly be involved with the woman working to set him free?”

So that’s a glimpse into Out and About, available now on Amazon and iBooks, and coming soon to Barnes and Noble. If you like drama, mystery, and of course love, I hope you’ll check it out.

About Staci:
Author Staci Troilo in a candid pose
Staci Troilo has always loved fiction, ever since her parents read her fairy tales when she was little. Today, her interest are much more eclectic. She loves getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.

As goes her reading, so goes her writing. She can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so she doesn’t even try. She’s proud to say she’s a multi-genre author.

When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool. To learn more about her, visit, sign up for her newsletter, or connect with her on social media.

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23 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Staci Troilo on Love Stories and Fathers

    • Thanks, Lauralynn! This is a different genre, so I hope you enjoy it. Medici book 2 will be out in the Spring/Summer 2016. If you wouldn’t mind leaving reviews after you read them, I’d really appreciate it. Either way, though, I’d love to know what you think when you’re done. You can always drop me an email or leave a comment on my blog. I love to connect with readers!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read in lots of genres, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it! Thanks for reminding me to review. My review of Bleeding Heart should be up shortly. I do review under a different name, though. Since Amazon has started “stalking” authors and banning them from reviewing other authors, especially the ones that know each other, I think it’s best to review under my real name. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Lauralynn, I love having you drop by to check out my guest posts. I’m like you as well, stacking up on so many books after authors visit. I’m glad you enjoyed Staci’s first book in her Medici series and are looking forward to Cathedral Lake. I can’t wait to catch up on it myself!

      And don’t forget….whenever you’re ready, you’ve got to do a guest post or interview for/with me on my blog! 🙂


      • I haven’t forgotten about the guest post or interview. I’m just trying to figure out the best time to do something like that. I’m in the middle (first quarter, actually) of a WIP, and I’m not sure whether to wait until I’m done with that or talk about other books. I’ve got some ideas, but I have to let them “percolate”. LOL. And thanks for being willing to let me in your space. 🙂


      • Lauralynn, I also host writers on my site. If you’d like to do a post on my blog when you have a release you want to promote (or anything/anytime you’d like to post) I’m happy to host you.

        That goes for all your writer friends, Mae. I’m always happy to host an author, introduce them to a new audience.


      • Aww, you’re awesome, Staci! 🙂
        Hear that, gang? You’ve got some blog real estate if you’re interested in claiming it with Staci. If you’re not sure how to get in touch with her, just contact me and I’ll make sure you hook up. I love when my friends get to know my other friends! 😀


    • Who is your friend? I’d love to check out her work.

      Out and About is a family drama. And a bit of a suspense. Some medical aspects, and some law. It’s so hard to choose a genre and appropriate keywords. I’ve stopped stressing over the label. I just want to write good stories.

      Thanks, Sue.

      Liked by 2 people

    • That’s so interesting. I remember when I released Eclipse Lake, I tagged it as a Romantic Mystery and a Family Drama. Myth and Magic is much the same way. I love family drama books, and here I thought, most wouldn’t be familiar with the term. How cool one of your CPs writes in the same genre!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I liked that title, too.

      Sadly, I had no input at all with that mystery. Cover, title, edits… totally shut out of the process. My current publisher is much more agreeable. I still don’t have final say, but at least I get SOME input.


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