That’s me. Especially right now.
In addition to mysteries. But as I mentioned in an earlier post here, my current mystery series is over. The fifth and last in the Barkery & Biscuits series, For A Good Paws, was a May release. Will I write more mysteries? I hope so… but not for a while.
Why? I’ve got a bonanza of deadlines for romances! I’m under contract for four Harlequin Romantic Suspense books.
The first two are part of their long-lived Colton continuity series, filled with lots of Colton relatives in real and fictional towns all over the place. Mine are in two different mini-series in two fictional towns. I’ve finished going over the line edits for the first, although I got the changed manuscript back to read one more time. I’m also about to submit the manuscript for the second, so I’m making progress.
The last two are in a mini-series of my own, a spin-off from my K-9 Ranch Rescue mini-series for HRS, the Shelter of Secrets mini-series. I’m just starting to work on the first of those. The Coltons don’t necessarily have dogs. But these will!
So as much as I’d love to take on more mysteries, or even something different, they’ll have to wait till I feel I can deal with additional deadlines. Right now, I’m particularly enjoying romances.
By the way, I do a lot of crossword puzzles. One clue recently was “Harlequin product” or something like that. The answer? I’ll bet you can guess.
Yes, it was “romance.”
I hope you are enjoying the last days of spring and are excited about summer. I love both. I’m a little reticent in my excitement, because I am so behind. As I have mentioned in previous posts. I had no idea this rebrand would take so long.
I am finally about to release a new book, the first since first quarter of 2018. The book I’m about to release, A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN Vol Two [ASGV2], I finished in summer of 2018. I received it from my editor late September or early October. I don’t remember exactly when. I elected not to release it until after I returned from the RAM conference. I knew I’d learn some things I could use, but still release the book at my projected time of December 2018. This would have been the anniversary of volume one in the series. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, because underestimate of the rebrand.
I thought the rebrand would be simple. I’d change a few things on the website, hold the new covers until 2019 and update the cover on volume one. All of which I thought wouldn’t still allow me to stick to my scheduled release date. That didn’t happen.
I could have released the book without the rebranding being complete, but I decided not to. Looking back, I think I made the right choice. I went through several covers for ASGV1. I knew changing that cover was going to set the tone for volume two. What I didn’t count on was a change in the story.
I like writing cliff hangers. However, some of my readers don’t. ASGV2, had a cliffhanger. I liked it. In fact, I thought it was a good way to sell books, but not in all cases. FOR ME, I think it works when the next book is ready. In my case, I knew the next book, was going to be at least eight to ten months out. I was in a Facebook seminar and had the chance to ask a bestselling author her thoughts on cliffhangers. She was not a fan and said most readers aren’t either. She said readers want a HEA. I was a little dejected.
What convinced me was my manicurist. She asked how the book was coming and we got into a discussion about cliffhangers. She told me she didn’t like them and most readers don’t unless the next book is available. I was deflated. Not satisfied with those answers, I did more research and was surprised how many agreed with them.
I went back to my book, deleted the cliffhanger and all the things associated with it. When I finished, I was left with a few wholes that needed to be filled. I really thought it would have been a piece of cake. Instead, it was almost a rewrite. When I finished, I had deleted A LOT, added two characters, revealed more of my protagonist personality and added approximately 5000 words. There is a cliffhanger, sort of with another character. She has a secret, but if I choose to give her a story, I have something to work with.
Now that I’ve finished, I’m having second thoughts about the proposed cover. It doesn’t feel right. It’s missing something. So it’s back to looking at hundreds of shirtless men. I guess I have to take one for the team. [Smile]
So what did I learn from this step in my rebranding process? Don’t get attached to your story or cover. I liked the ending and the cover I selected for ASGV2. However, after making a few changes to the story, I like it better. I haven’t selected a new cover yet, but I’m sure it will be more reflective of the story.
Target release day for A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN Vol Two, July 30th. I’ll keep you posted.
Ever want to indulge in a pepperoni pizza and then chocolate gelato? A splurge to celebrate a book deal or soothe a broken heart when your online date turns out not to be your dream guy (that’s another story).
You had me with pizza and gelato.
So the same can be true with your writing. On this Eat What You Want Day, let’s take a look at Write What You Want Day.
Suppose you’ve been cranking out hot contemporary romance until your bleary-eyed and drinking hot, black coffee for what seems like forever. You’re good at it, readers like it…your editor likes it.
But you’ve had it. Up to here. The ole mojo ain’t working.
Pizza and gelato time.
In other words, don’t abandon your shirtless hunks and sassy heroines. Just give them a day off. Write something different. Taste the honey on the next beehive by trying something different with your magic pen.
So, what shall it be? Prince Charming or history?
Why not have both in a sizzling historical romance.
Love mystery or crime shows? Dark fantasy? Write a scene about a female knight solving a mystery in a dystopian world while trying to save her little sister from the underworld creatures making slaves of her people. And the avenging superstar from the future who steals her heart.
Okay, a bit over the top. But you get the idea. Let your mind run free for a day and write whatever comes to you.
It’s like sorbet for the mind.
You may find that your contemporary romances have a fresh spin on them the next time you sit down at the computer.
And always, always write from the heart…
Valentine’s Day is Thursday — a time for romance, chocolate and . . . kissing.
But what if your first kiss was just plain awful?
Meet Riley Murphy. She’s a kissing virgin, waiting for the right guy to come along. Until she joins the Drama Club at Holywell High and has to kiss the class dweeb on stage in front of the whole school on Valentine’s Day.
Virgin Kiss is a short story I wrote that I’m serializing in 1-minute segments.
I’m inserting my video intro here and Parts 1-5 of my story (which will be completed on Valentine’s Day). Check back for the entire story as I update this post every day including V-Day!
Virgin Kiss Instagram 1-minute posts (text on audio is included in IG comments). I hope you enjoy my time travel trip back to high school!
Just added Part 6:
Part 7 of Virgin Kiss (you can read the text from the audio on Instagram in the comments section)
Part 8 of Virgin Kiss
Part 9 Virgin Kiss
Showcasing the shining excellence of published authors in novella and novel-length romance fiction and mainstream fiction with a central romance.
Deadline: April 15, 2019
Categories for the contest are:
All novel length entries must be at or above 50,000 words
For more information or to enter the contest go to Book Buyers Best.
Can an arranged marriage lead to love?More info →
Practical and entertaining advice about how to create a fulfilling retirement.More info →