Blatant, shameful, bloated, self promoting plug- March 2017

 A logo idea I’m toying with.  Thoughts?

So, it’s been a little more than a month without Zoe.  For those who have pulled my husband aside and whispered, “How’s she doing?”, I’d like to report, I’m doing okay. So is Harley. Me being home has made a big difference and I am so glad I made this decision. And another thank you again to my husband who is supporting me while I take this time for myself.

It’s bittersweet, but I’ve been able to get a lot of writing done this month. Zoe was almost 15, and became quite the cranky pug in her old age.  There were many days I just had to stop what I was doing and give her attention. And if given the choice, I would stay up a few extra hours each night and pass on the glass of wine with dinner to get that writing time in, if it meant she was still with me.

But… alas she’s gone. And of her own accord. Right until the last minute, Zoe marched to her own drum and decided to pass away at home, alleviating me of the gut-wrenching decision to put her down.

So in these past 30 or so days, the following exciting things have happened: MOST exciting, is that the cover to Must Love Fashion has been finalized. The reveal is May 18th!

 

shutterstock_176627798I’ve finished the first draft to Drawing Bloodlines, my first Paranormal Romance.  I’ve completed one full edit and it’s in the hands of my wonderful critique partner right now. I’m sure there will be more edits and I’m looking forward to her comments. This novel grew into something I didn’t expect. I set out to write a simple First Person, erotic romance about a woman and a vampire. But, these characters weren’t having it once I got my hands on them more thoroughly. Their relationship became much more than sexual. And as per my tweet a few weeks ago, if you’re writing about vampires, it can’t be simple. And depends on whether or not I think this story actually has any merit, I might have the beginning of a new series on my hands. The other vampires, who were to be mere tangent and props came to life as I wrote about them. Each intriguing with their own back story and  plots waiting for them in future books. Maybe.

 

Slide1Must Have Faith, Book Two in the Darling Cove Series and the follow up to Must Love Fashion is officially in progress and added to my roster of More Love Stories. I introduced the characters in this book, police officer Greg Mallory (Gwen Mallory-Morgan’s brother) and his runaway bride, Faith Copeland in Must Love Fashion. And ever since I finished that book, I’d been dying to write their story. But also afraid. I’d plotted the whole thing weeks ago. And it’s been in my head, scene by scene. It even has its own Soundtrack on my iPod. But could I write the masterpiece story I’d made up in my head? I have two chapters written and I think I’ll be okay. I’m even making my husband read this one. He’s not much of a “book” reader, and needless to say not a fan of “Romance”.  My technique is to appeal to his nature to want to “help” me. As a retired cop, I’ve told him, I “need” him to read it to make sure I’m portraying Greg (and his father, Martin- also a Darling Cove cop) correctly. So far so good. Just not sure how he’ll react to the upcoming gratuitous love scenes.

Must Have Faith- Available June 4, 2018!

New Feature Image for WebsiteBook Two in the Darling Cove Series and The Follow up to Must Love Fashion

Photo-journalist turned CNN Executive Producer, Faith Copeland is waiting for a position in the London bureau office to open up. Knowing it could be any day and she won’t have much notice, she’s given up her fancy Manhattan apartment and has moved back home to the North Fork. There she’s subject to stares and whispers behind her back; to them she’ll only ever be the woman who ran out on her own wedding.

Darling Cove Police Officer, Gregory Mallory has been living with the shame of being left at the altar. Even though he’s been trying to keep his “dates” with older women on the down-low, he’s trying even harder to prove he’s over the woman who ran out on him. But when his runaway bride returns, Greg’s tough façade begins to wear away.

When Greg agrees to drive Faith back and forth to the train every night for work and pick her up in the morning, they can’t deny their attraction is stronger than ever before. One kiss turns into a night of passion and then another and another.

But a job in London has finally opened up. Faith has to decide between her career and Greg. But will he still want her when she tells him why she really left in the first place.

Must Have Faith will be released June 4, 2018. Next up is Must Be Crazy featuring Skye Mallory and handsome architect/fire chief and single dad, Edward Mendelsohn.

 

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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Month-February 2017

Welcome back to my blog!

I have two very important announcements to make.

The feature image above oddly represents both perfectly.

I’ll start with the sad news… On February 16th,  we lost Zoe.  As you know from the previous post, one of the drivers of leaving my full time job was that I knew my time with her was limited. I was hoping she’d make it to her 15th birthday, which is this Monday (2/27). It was devastating to lose her, even though I’ve been mentally prepared for it since I got her as a 9 week old puppy.

Me and Zoe_Baby

All I wanted was to give her a good life. I hope I succeeded in that.

She came to Maine with us every year.

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She loved sitting out on our deck.

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She got a sweet ride for herself.  And like most things, Harley benefited too!

Zoe and Harley_Stroller

 

 

 

 

 

And she just loved being with her mommy.

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RIP, my wonderful girl.

And so on to my other news… which is quite ironic…

The Monday before Zoe passed, I signed a publishing contract for my novel Must Love Fashion.

The book will be released this August. And I’ll post more about that as I have things to share, like the cover (the best part), pre-order dates, launch party and book signings.

The journey continues…

The Jubilee Blog- January 2017

Welcome to 2017.

This year I want to blog not just about my writing, but about the journey I will take during this very “crucial” year for me.  When Queen Elizabeth celebrated sixty years on the throne, it was called a Jubilee Celebration. And no I’m not sixty! If you want to think that, at least follow that thought with, holy crap she looks amazing for sixty.

I left my full-time job in October of last year to pursue my writing. And I have to start by saying thank you to my wonderful husband for allowing me to take this journey.

I have a lot I want to accomplish in this year. Including knocking things off that dreaded bucket list. But instead of the morbid side, I am thinking of it as simply doing all the things I’ve been procrastinating about all these years. Yeah, not as exciting a title as “Bucket List.”

Here’s what planned as far as Bucket Travel:

In May, Uncle Jack and I will attend the Preakness, completing (albeit out of order) our own racing trilogy. In 2015 we did the Belmont (saw history- American Pharaoh winning the Triple Crown). Last year we did the Derby. So after this year, we can say we did all 3!

In April I plan to do the highly popular PCH drive (Pacific Coast Highway). Details still being worked out for that.

I hope hope hope I can get to Lambeau Field to see the Green Bay Packers play early next Football season. My husband doesn’t want to go. I am taking requests from anyone who wants an all expense paid trip to see one of the greatest football stadiums. Hot guys get first priority 🙂

There were other reasons I chose to take time off. One concerning my dog Zoe. She turns 15 this year. Sorry to out her!

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She’s the one in the dog-bed!

Zoe is going strong, but I haven’t seen too many 16 or 17 year old pugs. My husband nick-named her OPE (Oldest Pug Ever). Her biggest problem right now is that she is cranky all day. And when my husband gets annoyed at her, I say to him, how happy are you going to be when you’re 105?

For both our sakes I hope at least one of us will be gone before we find out.

Of course, I want to finally be published. If you’ve been following my website, you will know I’ve written at least two novels at this point. Both are looking for a home. See individual pages for details.

Anyway, this year, I plan to clean house of all my writing. Get everything into at least a first draft format and then blitz the industry with submissions . I’ll document my progress as I go along this year.

Instead of “Eat Pray Love” my version will be Write-Submit-Cry.

So here’s all my work for this year:

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Could be the only time, my novels appears on the “shelf” with other books! Ha Ha.

I’ll go into details in other posts, but my “goal” is to have ten books completed for this year.

So just as in Julie and Julia when Julie blogged that she would cook every dish in the Julia Child’s The Joy of Cooking over the course of the year, I too am making a bold prediction.

Come follow me!

Halloween Blog Treat (no Trick)

A scene in my new novel Must Love Fashion takes place on Halloween.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Skye was a genius.

Anyone who planned a garage sale on Halloween really deserved some kind of Mensa prize. And Skye would impress Stephen Hawkins since many of her sale items were things left behind from her ex-boyfriend pop singer Miles Bookman. She fell short of qualifying for a Nobel prize for not advertising that fact.

Skye loved Halloween probably because it gave her the excuse to buy a ridiculous amount of chocolate every year. Gwen, on the other hand treasured the entire fall season for the weather and the wine.  “We’re opening that cab-franc after this right?” she whispered after dealing with one of Skye’s neighbors who harassed her to bring a pair of Lucky jeans down from ten dollars to two.

“After? I’m going to get it right now.” Skye jumped out of the metal folding chair and disappeared up the driveway. Her house was a legal two-family. She rented the main floor of the turn-of-the-century colonial to a retired couple who spent months at a time on the road in an RV that was bigger than Gwen’s house. When it was parked in the driveway, it blocked out the sun.

“I don’t think we should be drinking in front of kids,” Gwen said under her breath folding some of Miles’ tee-shirts.

“Trick-or-treat!” shouted two little zombies in store-bought costumes that looked like trash bags colored in with a Sharpie.

“Oooo. Very scary boys,” Gwen said assuming they were boys since every little girl she’d seen today was dressed as Elsa from Frozen.

“Now that’s some costume,” Darling Cove’s most handsome single dad said to her after she tossed several pieces of candy into his sons’ bags. He lived a few houses down from her but since Gwen didn’t have any kids, she never crossed paths with the man.

Gwen handed the dad his own piece of candy. “Well they didn’t have the zombie costumes in my size.” Still, her tall black witches hat, the wildly inappropriate lace mermaid dress and bright green eye-shadow swept across her cheeks turned plenty of heads that afternoon.

“Boys, wait for me at the end of the driveway,” he said to the elementary school kids digging through their bags, anxious to get to their spoils. He looked back with a smile. “Jen, right? Do you want to get a cup of coffee or a drink later?”

“It’s Gwen. And Lisa Connors tried to fix us up over the summer. You told her I wasn’t your type.” She fingered the tattered witch’s hat. “This is your type?”

“Gwen, sorry.” He cleared his throat. “Come on, you’re divorced. You know how hard it is. I wasn’t ready.”

Gwen folded her arms. As her neighbor he must have seen Dan come and go. And therefore he must have also noticed the missing Mercedes as well. What zombie dad perhaps didn’t count on was that Gwen noticed things too. “Oh really. EA week after that, I saw the High School principal leaving your house early in the morning.”

She waved him away, no long feeling guilty that Skye had been giving out candy from last year.

 

The crowd lingering in front of Andrew’s door drew immediate alarm.

As the scene became clearer he noticed several children in costumes.  Halloween. He didn’t have any candy. He hated when that holiday fell on a weekend.

But the way the mothers were looking at him, he didn’t think they wanted fun size chocolate treats.

“There he is!” One of the women said eyeing him like they wanted fun with him.

The kids turned around at the same time and in a creepy harmonized whine, shouted Trick or Treat!

This was going to be bad. To start he was a mess. He ran a few extra miles on the treadmill and even he could smell his own body odor. Next, he had no clue how to handle the situation and suddenly felt really sorry for single dads who probably had to put up with this all the time. Smile, he told himself as he got closer.

Maybe the smell will drive them all away, he thought as he addressed the group. “Hey guys. Nice costumes.”

“I’m Elsa,” one of the little girls said immediately pushing her way to the front. “She’s Anna. But everyone knows Elsa is the best.”

“I see,” Andrew answered clueless who the little girl was talking about. But since they each had on what looked like princess costumes and since he’d seen many little girls walking to school all year long wearing princess dresses, it was quite possible these were their everyday clothes and those were the girls’ first names.

“Now Catelyn, I told you about saying things like that,” a mother clawed her way out of the circle. “Hi, Andrew right?”

Shit, they know my name. “Yes. Hi.”

“I’m Stephanie.”

“We didn’t want you to feel left out.” Another mother knocked Stephanie out of the way and smothered his sweaty hands with hers. “I’m Teresa, nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you.” Not really.

“Oh and I’m Erica.” This mother grabbed his hand out of Teresa’s.

A symphony of other names crashed over him, Stephanie, Marcus, Travis, Sophie, Marianne, Chase and Dylan, a dog dressed like a pumpkin. He would never remember all of these names and now when he saw these women his usual casual glances and chin bobbing would be considered rude. “It’s nice to meet all of you. I’m sorry you’ve caught me unprepared. I’ve been out of the country and—”

“You work for Prada right?” Stephanie asked.

“Uh yeah.” Now Andrew became nervous. No man who watched Fatal Attraction would ever underestimate a woman’s ability to go to extreme lengths to get what she wants.

“Is this Prada?” Teresa glided a finger against his chest.

He stepped back. “No, Prada doesn’t make tee-shirts.”

“Well they should,” Erica said and then discretely licked her lips.

“Yeah, if they did they would cost six hundred dollars,” said the only woman who wasn’t looking at him with lust. “You have a lot of nerve what you charge for those clothes.”

Huh boy.

“Marianne, that’s not polite,” Teresa said and then turned to him shaking her head like she had been in on the joke that only the two of them understood.

Andrew drew a deep breath. “Okay ladies and kids . . . and pumpkin dog, I’ve just come back from the gym. I would really like to get inside to clean up.” He jingled his keys in the hope they would move along and stop blocking his door.

“We’re having a small party in my apartment in about an hour,” Erica said touching him again. “Come by and have some fun. I’m in 3F.”

Now he remembered her. He’d seen her in the lobby with her husband. Great, that was all he needed. “Thank you but I have some work I need to do. Perhaps if you come back tomorrow I can have some candy.”

“He doesn’t even have any candy?” a boy dressed like Batman, the dark knight version cried out. “What kind of bullshit is this?”

“Travis!” Teresa cried out, blushing. “That is unacceptable language. We talked about this.”

“Will you have some candy in ten minutes?” Elsa demanded.

Andrew smiled, pleased he now knew how to get rid of the them. “No.”

The kids stomped away complaining while their child-worshipping mothers ran after them.

Andrew unlocked his door praying there wasn’t a rabbit in boiling water on his stove.

Drawing Bloodlines- Paranormal Romance

The Princeton Allegiant Series, Book One

Drawing Bloodlines, a Sexy Paranormal Romance is finally finally complete and ready for submission!

Logline:  A single mother falls in love with a vampire only he’s being forced to mate with a ruthless vamp who kept him as a sex slave one hundred years ago.

Dr. Alexander Manning is exposed. While drawing blood from his beautiful patient, he’s so captivated by her, he takes too much and must drink it immediately. But when she catches him, she passes out. Alex can report what happened to his allegiant’s Commander or…deal with her himself. When he tracks her down to read her thoughts and wipe the incident from her mind he discovers…she wants him as much as he wants her. Should he take her as his lover, even if it means breaking the rules and risking his entire allegiant’s secrets?

Elizabeth hasn’t dated anyone since her divorce and when she finds out the man she’s so drawn to is a vampire, she has to make a choice. Play it safe, deny how she feels or take a risk where the reward is night after night of blinding ecstasy.

But Alex’s past catches up to him when he’s chosen by the new Philadelphia commander to be her mate. He must choose…go obediently into the arms of the vamp who blackmailed him into years of sex or…fight back. Either with some hidden magical powers he’s been keeping a secret or with a little science experiment a colleague is cooking up in a private research facility.

 

Forty Times Platinum- Women’s Fiction

Forty Times Platinum- Manuscript Available to Publishers Now

Women’s Fiction, 91,000 Words

Go inside the mysterious music industry with Forty Times Platinum, a  Women’s Fiction novel about Jennifer Montgomery, a record label executive who falls in love with Jamie Miller,  a singer who is talented and gorgeous…but young impressionable artists are strictly off limits.

Jennifer makes artists’ dreams come true at the L.A. label, Thompson Street Records. When bad-boy Jamie is signed, Jen becomes infatuated with the younger man. She attempts to keep her distance but as a former rock and roll girl herself and the label’s top writer and producer, she’s the one tapped for the job when Jamie needs a power ballad. Working on a song with him puts her professional ethics to the test…and failing never felt so good.

Jamie is a willing lover, but he’s hiding something.

Once his album is complete, he’s whisked away on an extensive promotion tour, leaving Jen to question: Does she want to take a back seat to Jamie’s career? Torn between her love for Jamie and the reality of what life is like with a rock star –Jen knows, she’s been there, she tearfully walks away so he could have his dream.

Jen turns to old flame Cam Harris for comfort, but when Jamie finds out about the new man, his distress brings him to his knees –literally, exposing his secret and putting his career in jeopardy. Jen must decide between an uncomplicated relationship with Cam or jumping to Jamie’s rescue, knowing their future will always be uncertain.

Forty Times Platinum is Book One in the Platinum series. Look for the sequels Perfect and Platinum,  Little Miss Platinum, concluding with Platinum Records

RIP Darling

This post is directed to other writers out there.

We’ve all heard the expression, “Kill your darlings.” Like many of you I was appalled to hear such a thing, only because I felt it wasn’t explained in the right context to me at first. I thought I was being told to take the best lines of my book out. We all have them. That little nugget that you know no one’s ever written or read before.

A better way to think of it is, don’t keep something in your book just because of a little darling. I’ve been guilty of that in the editing processes. Keeping something that just doesn’t fit because it was written so well.

One thing I’ve found while writing and now editing two manuscripts, is that little darlings, the isolated ones probably can be used somewhere else. Every round of editing for me, includes several darlings or string of darlings that I review to see if I can use elsewhere. And usually I find a home for them.

But what about entire chapters!

I’m in the third draft phase of my new novel, “The Cougar Cruise” and something had been bugging me about the first chapter. Today, you have to define your novel in the first five pages. I think fondly of the book “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, where I was told, “Just get past the first hundred pages.” Only writers today know what has happened in publishing and how so many books we all love would never be published today, based on the new criteria.

Gone are the days, where you can let the reader get to know your main characters, and grow into the story. And then reveal the plot.

Well, just yesterday morning I stripped away the first chapter of “The Cougar Cruise” and made my second chapter my first chapter. Who cares if the first chapter introduced you to my main character properly, let you get to know her, like her, feel for her, savor her, understand her motivation. Sorry. Because that book won’t sell.

However, I am pleased with the new draft and how the book now begins. New authors have to be conformists. But that whole darn chapter was a darling. It really showcased my writing (I thought). But this is the world we live in people. Gotta have it now.

If you want to be a test reader for “The Cougar Cruise”, subscribe to the site and send me a message.

 

Forty Times Platinum- Excerpt

For those of you not watching the world series, here is the first excerpt from Forty Times Platinum.

I’d love to hear your comments!

– From Chapter One-

“Jennifer Montgomery! I know you hear me,” Michael Bradley yelled running toward her. “Do not even think about taking another step.”

“Wha-at?” Jen said sarcastically as she turned in his direction.

The flash of her sapphire eyes turned Michael gooey and incoherent. His cheeks turned red and his uncomfortable eyes drifted to Michelle as he cleared his throat. “Jamie Miller signed.”

“He signed?” Jen’s sarcastic smile faded.

“He did. I knew you’d want to hear it from A&R first.”

She pulled her knees together and dipped her hips revealing a level of excitement that only a few people at Thompson Street Records had ever seen. Even with Stan, she maintained a degree of composure. She had never wanted him to regret hiring not only a woman, but a former signed artist to run the Talent Development department.

“Who—who got picked for EP?” she asked.

“Corey. We just told Stan.” Michael crossed his arms.

Jen bit down on her lip, suppressing the argument that Thompson had better executive producers.

“Corey Hanson is an excellent EP, Jen,” Michael contended. “Jamie will get the platinum team soon enough.”

She met his eyes with a confident nod.

“You know he wanted you, right?” Michael asked.

Leaning in, Jen asked in a whisper soft voice, “Jamie wanted me?”

“Of course he wanted you. Who wouldn’t? I meant Stan.”

Shaking off the quick rise in her heart rate, Jen turned in the direction of her office once again. “Well, Stan would love me to EP every record and write every song. Heck, he’d have me selling the damn things on the street if he could.”

“When I’m president of this label, I’ll only ask to you sell the shitty ones on the street.”

Jen swung back around and tilted a smile in his direction. “We don’t produce shitty records, Michael.” After he left music, Michael had referred to taking this so-called “temporary” position at Thompson as “crossing over to the dark side.” And now he wants to be president!

Michelle interrupted their strange but typical banter. “Michael, maybe you can convince Jen to call her mother back.”

“What’s wrong with Gigi?” he asked.

“Nothing.” Jen knocked her head back. “She’s still on the road. I can’t deal with those phone calls anymore.” The once strained relationship with Gigi had over time morphed into a series of typical mother-daughter episodes. Typical however had to take into account Gigi’s legendary singer status and her periods of substance abuse. Jen had gone to bed many nights in her mother’s Scottsdale mansion deciding which was worse.

“You gotta give her credit, though.” Michael shook his head. “She’s still cranking out records and touring after all these years.”

“You can always go back on the road. It’s not too late.”

“And leave you here to have all this fun by yourself? Not a chance sweetheart.” Michael winked and walked away.

Once a large distance was between them, Michelle said, “I hope, when I get married and then divorced, that I have such a good relationship with my ex-husband.”

Selfies with Bears

Recently I heard a report that one of the National Parks (not important which one) had to officially ban selfies with bears. When I was growing up the warning was don’t poke a sleeping bear.

Well I did just that.

Five months ago, I fed eleven bears my novel Forty Times Platinum for their long summer nap. A couple said, “Thank you, but no, Thank you right away. While the rest snuggled it close, dreaming of weekends at the Hamptons and Booze Cruises to Fire Island.

Well it was time to poke some bears. And boy, were they grouchy.

In the past two weeks, I’ve received three rejections 🙁

But what’s so interesting, is the positive way they two of them wrapped it:

“it’s clear that Deborah is a talented writer. Her prose is fun and engaging”

I’d read somewhere talent stands out. And I do keep hearing how fun the book is. Guess readers don’t want fun these days. “Fun doesn’t sell,” I can hear a publishing marketing exec say, when having to explain declining book sales.

This one gave me chills:

“I enjoyed getting a peek into the music industry and observing a gorgeous, talented rock star up close and personal. Who doesn’t have a fantasy about a rock star!? It’s fascinating what goes on in both creating the music and in the behind-the-scenes world and watching Jen and Jamie create amazing music together and dance ever closer together was great fun. I liked that Jen was in such a powerful position and I liked the chemistry between them.”

It was “me” the editor didn’t like, apparently. She didn’t “love” my voice. I am behind Jen and Jamie, who you loved!

But, that’s still only a total of 6 rejections out of 11. We still need to hear from 5 more in the top tier, and then we move on to Small Press or Indie publishers.

Please keep the support coming. Editors think readers only want Fifty Shades or Hunger Games.

Books aren’t Life Partners or even wedding dresses. And there’s a reason there are multiple genres available. Not everyone wants porn or post-apocalypse fantasies.

Sometimes girls (and boys- Dennis and Uncle Jack!) just wanna have ‘fun’.

Oh and please no selfies with bears.