Guest Post: Romance Writer Grapples with the Very Unromantic Health Insurance Industry by Louisa Kelley

Happy Friday!

Please welcome Louisa Kelley, a Dirt Roads Book author.

Romance Writer Grapples with the Very Unromantic Health Insurance Industry

There are few things in my life more surreal than what I do Monday through Friday. “How do you do it?” people often ask me. How do you work in a healthcare office, manage the entire billing department, run point on a thousand complex claims problems etc. etc., and then go home and transform into a romance writer? For gawd’s sakes Louisa! How on earth do you manage? 

The transition is awful sometimes, I do admit that. Especially after a long weekend spent immersed in the creative writer’s brain, only to push it into cold storage when the alarm goes off at 5am on Monday. On my way out the door, I aim a last, longing look at the computer. I know when I get home that night, after a full work day sitting in front of a screen, crunching numbers, and arguing with customer service reps on the phone, the sharpness of my creativity will be dulled and in need of resuscitation.

However, my reality is not quite ready for the day job to end, and one does what one must. Over the years, I’ve often thought about what I’ve learned regarding the state of health insurance, in Oregon in particular. People would be even more outraged if they knew half the things I do. You may think it’s bad, but baby, you have no idea how really bad it is. One of my games of pretend revenge against the machine is to imagine me being that person to tell you just how screwed up things are, like how often claims departments make mistakes. I’ve got a co-worker who thinks she and I should start a YouTube channel, just to inform and educate the public in Oregon. Tell Oregonians things no one else in the industry ever would. Who wants the down and dirty? What plans have the best customer service, or the worst? I can tell you about the unexpected negative hit chiropractors and acupuncturists took with the advent of the Affordable Care Act- something big Healthcare jumped all over to exploit as fast as they could. Even worse, some of the biggest healthcare companies in the country shop all of their customer service overseas. When you, the U.S. customer, call your local healthplan, you may be talking to India or the Philippines. American privacy rights as far as HIPAA goes, vanish as our private information is provided to countries outside of the US – just so the obscenely wealthy insurance executives can save a nickel on customer service. 

People, it goes on and on. So, what do I do to counteract my rage and my constant sense of injustice? How do I balance my two worlds? 

Romance is the balance. I write romance stories where there is always a happily-ever-after. Stories where the challenges can be overcome and the day can be won. Where evil is vanquished and love always prevails. I read romance… Because it reminds me of the healing power of love, and the possibility of happily-ever-after. There’s healing in loving connection and kindness and never giving up and winning in the end. And that’s what saves me, and my writer’s heart, over and over again.

The Shift Series: Book 1

by Louisa Kelley

Abbie is a compulsive jewel thief whose life hasn’t been making much sense. On a solo camping trip in the forests of western Oregon, she’s attacked by mysterious men and the event triggers a shift within her that she doesn’t understand and refuses to believe.

Fianna, Orla, and Guin are dragon shape-shifters living in secret in a magically hidden cabin in the mountains of Oregon. Fianna’s on a redemption quest to locate the rare human-dragon hybrid whose Draca DNA has been triggered and deliver the fledgling to the dragon community. Abbie is that magical being. With her two sisters’ help, Fianna must protect Abbie from nefarious forces that seek to exploit her, as well as from humans, who must remain oblivious to the existence of shape-shifters.

But Abbie’s a handful, as Fianna soon learns. Wrangling a strong-headed mischievous hybrid who has no idea of her own powers proves to be a frustrating mission. They have to move fast, before it’s too late and their secret existence, both on earth and in an alternate reality, is revealed by an unwitting baby dragon.

Abbie is hunted by a human who knows her secret, and something else that Abbie doesn’t even know about herself. Abbie has to come to terms with who and what she is, but who can she trust? When she encounters the three dragons, the events that follow rock the dragon world and threatens the safety of its inhabitants. The circumstances bring Abbie and Fianna into sizzling contact, and they both end up with more than they expected that day.

Throw in a conniving, thousand-year-old dragon with dementia determined to capture Abbie in Portland for his own purposes, and you’ve got…delicious, magical, dragonly fun. Everyone wants Abbie, especially Fianna, and it’s a race to see who gets to her first.

Listen to the audio excerpt here.



To celebrate, Dirt Road Books is giving away a bunch of stuff! Including:

  • $20 gift card
  • audiobook copy of Bitterroot Queen by Jove Belle
  • audiobook version of Little Dip by Gill McKnight
  • ebook copy of A Bittersweet Garden by Caren J Werlinger
  • ebook copy of the 4 book series Cops and Docs series by KD Williamson
  • ebook copy of Pleasure Workers by Annette Mori
  • ebook copy of A Shot at Love by T.B. Markinson
  • ebook copy of From the Boots Up and From the Hat Down by Andi Marquette
  • ebook copy of The Potion by R.G. Emanuelle




Louisa Kelley is the author of a series of well-regarded erotic paranormal books and urban fantasy stories, including the trilogy, Daughters of Draca. Her writing features fantastical stories of sensual romance, intrigue and magic, often with modern day characters based in Portland. ‘Fianna The Gold,’ book one in her newest fantasy series, has just been released by Dirt Road Books.

She resides in Portland, Oregon where, in a strangely perfect combination of rainy winters and urban skyline, her writing inspiration abounds. She’s also slightly obsessed with dragons.



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Thanks so much for stopping by today.


About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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2 Responses to Guest Post: Romance Writer Grapples with the Very Unromantic Health Insurance Industry by Louisa Kelley

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me! I really appreciate it! Also, now I’ve discovered you as an author, which I will definitely be checking out. Cheers! XO

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