Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Review Going Rogue in Red Rye County Interview with author Katie Mettner

Today I'm sharing my review of Going Rogue in Red Rye County and my exclusive interview with new favorite author Katie Mettner who writes for Harlequin's Intrigue line.

Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Release Date:
Length: 210pp
Source: Author for review
Secure One #1
Buy It: Publisher/Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound



She’s on a mission
And dangerously off the grid…

After an undercover mission gone wrong, agent Mina August is on the run from the FBI and The Madame, a ruthless brothel owner. Her mantra: trust no one. But alone and permanently disabled, the cunning beauty must trust her ex-partner Roman Jacobs to take her side in a deadly cat-and-mouse game. Can she fight her true feelings for Roman to stay professional…and alive?

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

Interview with Katie Mettner

Katie Hi, welcome to The Reading Frenzy.
Your new book, Going Rogue in Red Rye County, is great, tell my readers a little about it.

Going Rogue in Red Rye County opens with FBI Special Agent Mina August trying to escape her house when she realizes someone has found her. She’s on the run from an undercover operation that went sideways, and she’s injured and alone. Mina is also convinced that her partner, Roman Jacobs, double crossed her since he never showed up to rescue her. It’s been a year since she was injured and went on the run after she was made as an undercover agent at one of The Madame’s brothels. Her only goal is to stay ahead of the FBI and the Madame,  and find a way to save the women she had to abandon. Mina knows she needs help, so when her ex-partner finally finds her, she lets him help her get to safety. She wants to find out who The Madame is and arrest her, so she can have her life back. Roman, and the men at Secure One, a security company owned by Roman’s brother Cal, help her do that.

Going Rogue in Red Rye County is the first in your brand new Secure One Security series.
a. Did you pitch the story as a series or does the suggestion come from your publisher?

I originally wrote it as a stand alone with a thought that I could do a second book depending on if Harlequin picked it up or not. When they did, I mentioned to my editor that I had an idea for a second book, too. They asked for the proposal for two more books and signed them in July.

b. Is there a set number in this series?

There is no set number. Right now, we have the first three written and in editing. The next two books will release in early 2024. I am also working on a proposal for books four, five and six.

c. Do you use a board or some other way to keep all the places, characters and plots of a series straight for you?

Not at first. I originally wrote Going Rogue in Red Rye County as a stand-alone, so I didn’t need to remember everything. Since then, I have slowly built a document with names, disabilities, places, etc. that I’ll need for books four through six if they’re signed. Thankfully, the Harlequin editing team is excellent at catching name slip ups! 

As you know from my review, I LOVED Mina as I do all strong female protagonists.
Tell me how Mina came to be?

Your review really made my whole week when you sent it! I was so pleased to read that I’d accomplished what I’d set out to do with Mina.

Mina stole the gun from the safe while he slept. Smith & Wesson. A .38 revolver. Small. Point-and-shoot. She patted the inside of the safe, pleased to find extra rounds and a stack of hundreds Nathan had been saving for a rainy day. Someday, she’d make it right, but for now, she’d have to owe him one.

The moment she said one day she’d make it right, Mina just snapped into place in my mind. She’s an FBI agent who has an injury that should keep her down, but she refuses to let it. She was going to save the girls she left behind without anyone’s help. I love a heroine who can take care of themselves, but still knows when they need someone to lean on. I also need the heroine to be vulnerable with that one person who loves her no matter what.

I loved how you peeled Mina’s layers, letting readers see beyond her tough mask to the vulnerable woman beneath.
How was Mina to write, did she behave or did she have you using your delete key a lot?

Mina was very straightforward for me. She wrote herself. The moment I knew who she was in my mind, she never deviated from it. She is smart, trained, determined, scared, in pain, in love, uncertain and in charge of her own destiny. It was often going from her determination to her scared and in pain that was the hardest to write, simply because I wanted it to be accurate. So many books have an injured hero or heroine and they seem to go forever without needing rest or pain meds. That’s not how any of this works! I wanted to be as real and honest as I could be with readers about how a chronic injury truly changes the way a person has to live their life, determination or otherwise.

I was immediately drawn to Roman and empathized with his dilemma about his feelings for Mina.
Did you know from the start how the book would end or did the characters have something to say about what they wanted to happen?

I knew they would have to get together, even if it was a happy for now situation, because that is a requirement for Harlequin. How they would get there beyond him convincing her to trust him I didn’t have planned. When it comes to the romance aspect of my romantic suspense, I always let the couple lead and take me where they want to go. If I try to tell them what to do, they never listen!

In the book there is a hint about where book 2 may head which really makes me anxious for it.
How many books in the series do you have in your head by the time we get that hint?

In the case of this series, I had book one, two, and three in my head, but had only planned to write the second and third book if I self-published the first. I didn’t think Harlequin would be interested in signing a new author and a series, so I was pleasantly surprised when they did!  I actually rewrote the original last chapter of Going Rogue in Red Rye County once they asked for two more. If I’m writing indie, I always know if it’s going to be a series and how many there will be before I start. (Unless it’s a series about a town where new couples are constantly introduced that I can write about. Like my Bells Pass Christmas Series.)

Katie, I love your website. It’s so easy to navigate and you have a lot of important information there. One of the things I noticed is that you are a disabled author who likes to feature disabled characters in your books and I love your quote about disabilities

“People with disabilities are just that ­— people. We are not ‘differently abled’ because of our disability. We all have different abilities and interests, and the fact that we may or may not have a physical or intellectual disability doesn’t change that. The disabled community may have different needs, but we are productive members of society who also happen to be husbands, wives, moms, dads, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, and coworkers. People with disabilities are often disrespected and portrayed two different ways; as helpless or as heroically inspirational for doing simple, basic activities.”

I am a caregiver to my disabled husband and although he has Parkinson’s which is a degenerative disease and it’s not always visually noticeable, he does at times get looks when I have to help feed him, he has tremors, etc. and it makes him feel awkward about being out in public. So, thank you for that.

I feel it’s important to use my platform to educate people about the disabled community, so that note also goes in the back of each of my books (Except the Harlequins). It’s my simple goal to teach people one thing about a disability or the disabled community in each book. When I first started writing, my goal was to take #Ownvoices disabled romance mainstream with a large publisher. I’m thrilled to say we did that today!

I also noticed on your website that you run a blog.
So how do you manage to keep so many irons in the fire, what does a day in the life of Katie Mettner look like?

Life can be busy! My workdays often depend on if I’m writing, editing, or in a lull between books. I tend to write or edit early in the morning once my husband goes to school. I take a break around nine a.m. to take my puppy to the mall for a training session as I’m training her to be a medical assist dog. Once we’re back and she’s napping, I write or edit some more! My afternoons are spent doing clerical things like scheduling posts, planning ads, working with my graphic designer on covers or promotional images, doing page takeovers, and coordinating with other authors for joint events. In the evening, I usually do more ad keyword research or just relax. Throughout the day I’m interacting with my readers and group on Facebook. We have a lot of fun there every day, so make sure to follow my page there!

Do you have any author events either virtual or in person coming up?

I don’t have any author events planned right now other than page takeovers on Facebook, which I do regularly. You can get that information either in my newsletter, website, or if you follow me on Facebook. Once the three books have released in 2024, I plan to schedule some in person events, so stay tuned!

Katie thank you for taking the time to let me pick your brain. This was my first experience reading you but I know it won’t be my last.
Good luck with the book.

Thank you so much and thanks for hosting me here today and for the wonderful review! Bloggers like you are so important to the book community, and the disabled community, to spread the word about quality romance!

My Review:

 Going Rogue in Red Rye County

Harlequin Intrigue
Secure One Security #1
Katie Mettner


Katie Mettner’s debut in her new Secure One Security series is fast-paced from beginning to end, a non-stop, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thriller that deals with the sex trade and worse and will have readers hearts in their throats until the OMG explosive end. Filled with action, believable backdrops, honorable heroes and detestable villains giving romantic suspense lovers everything their heart’s desire.

Katie delivers a timely and tight plot and an in-your-face edgy narrative that will hold readers interest throughout the story giving them just a glimpse of future series installations. Her characters both good guys and bad guys are all fantastic and memorable but Mina, Roman and one of the girl victim’s Marlise are the real stand-outs. Mina is tough yet the audience gets to see how vulnerable she is and how hard she’s finding it to trust. Roman is your typical cop-type hero, resilient and strong yet ready to give his life for his partner. Fans of romantic suspense will not be able to put this down.

FBI Agent Wilhelmina (Mina) August is deep undercover trying to uncover secrets about the infamous brothel she’s managed to infiltrate and its owner The Madam. She’s just about to give her partner Roman Jacobs some vital information that could blow their case wide open when it all goes south and she almost dies in a fire. When she wakes up with a badly injured foot in a hospital remembering only bits and pieces of what happened she runs not knowing who she can trust, not even the partner who should have had her back but didn’t. Now she’s on her own trying to keep under the radar until she gets well enough to function and hoping to remember who she can and can’t trust.

Agent Roman Jacobs has been out of his mind with worry ever since his partner and if he’s truthful to himself the woman he loves went missing. His only mission since she disappeared from her hospital room is to find her and make her understand that whatever happened in that fire he wasn’t the one who betrayed her. But he can’t tell her if he can’t find her and he isn’t the only one looking.  The Madam, the brothel owner is also looking for Mina and if she finds her first he won’t be able to tell her anything because she’ll be dead.


About the author:
Katie Mettner wears the title of 'the only person to lose her leg after falling down the bunny hill' and loves decorating her prosthetic leg to fit the season. She lives in Northern Wisconsin with her own happily-ever-after and wishes for a dog, now that her children are grown. Katie has an addiction to coffee and Twitter and a lessening aversion to Pinterest — now that she’s quit trying to make the things she pins. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful interview and review! I'm so happy you enjoyed Going Rogue in Red Rye County!

  2. Lovely review! I love the sound of this one.

    1. thanks Carole it was a good one and I loved how she featured disabilities

  3. Wonderful interview. I loved your review, this sounds like one would enjoy!

  4. Great interview :)'
    Sounds thrilling