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  • Jordan D. Smith

Local Writer Publishes First Romance Novel

Things are heating up for a local author who just published her first novel. It’s Always Been You is a story of a “steamy, second chance, small-town romance” by local, Bethanie Kramer. While this is Kramer’s debut novel she has long “Truthfully, I've just always wanted to write,” says Kramer, “I published a poem when I was in high school. I've written little things that I've kept to myself since then and then one day I just said to my husband that I was ready to just write. I woke up with three characters in my head and went to work writing…”

Originally from Grand Rapids, Kramer moved to the area after marrying her husband who is from Fowler. They have two sons, one who is grown and out of the house and the youngest who is a junior at Pewamo-Westphalia High School. While she is currently pursuing writing, Kramer works full-time as a finance specialist at the Michigan Department of Education.

The story of It’s Always Been You centers around protagonist Rose Harper who left her small home in Michigan after having her heart broken by her boyfriend, Gibson Titus. After her father gets ill though, she eventually returns home when she is reunited with her erstwhile lover. Although their lives have gone in different directions, circumstances thrust them together and the flame of love is rekindled. However, before they can have a second chance at love, Rose has to decide if she can trust and forgive the man who cheated on so many years past.

With the setting of a small town, the obvious question is whether the story is set in Portland or inspired by Portland. It turns out that while the setting for It’s Always Been You is a small Michigan town that it’s an amalgamation of aspects of many small towns in mid-Michigan. “I tried to keep it fictional while also trying to pay homage to the surrounding areas,” says Kramer, “For an author, some of their life experiences always spill into their work.”

That connection starts before page one in fact. The cover art image is actually the engagement photo of Kramer’s husband’s sister and her fiancé (now husband). “Four years ago when I saw her pictures, I told her that they reminded me of a book cover,” she says, “and now it is! When I asked her and her husband if I could use it, they were both excited to say yes.”

Kramer says that sales on Amazon both e-books and printed editions have been better than expected. With the reach of internet sales and publication, her work has also been read oversees in the UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, and Italy. She says tht she is currently planning a book signing in the coming months, just in time for the sequel to be released. She already has four other books in the works and is even collaborating with her youngest son on several young adult novels to be published under a pseudonym. Kramer’s novel and the forthcoming sequels are available for sale in print and e-book form on Amazon.

PHOTO: Courtesy Bethanie Kramer

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