About Melinda De Ross

Melinda De Ross is the first Romanian to become a USA Today bestselling author. A prolific writer, she weaves humorous romance and tension-filled thrillers with the same enthusiasm. Her books combine the elegance of European literature with the modern appeal of American culture. While she's a law graduate and professional target shooter, she prefers to spend her days spinning tales for her readers. In her downtime, she'd rather read or watch a classic movie than go to a noisy club. She loves to hear from readers, so if you have a question or want to learn more about her books, visit her website: MelindaDeRoss.com

Some midweek inspiration ❤️ #mgtab

Even a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

I’m sure you’ve all heard this proverb, maybe to the point where you roll your eyes when you hear it again. But it’s true.

In 2013 I was finishing my first story, Rendezvous with Hymera. I’ll tell you straight, it was terrible, and it took years to build the guts to say this. But at the time I was beyond proud of my first “baby”.

I very boldly wrote to Janet Evanovich and asked for her advice on what to do next. Never in a million years did I think she’d reply, yet in a few hours I had a personal reply from THE Janet Evanovich! Basically, she told me to get an agent—which I regret not doing. However, everything happens at the right time. At that moment, with that book, I didn’t stand a chance.

Thankfully, most publishers, even the big ones, accept unagented submissions, so I started pitching. About a couple dozen rejection letters later, I received my first ever contract offer! It was from a small press that went bust within a year, but at the time, to this starry-eyed rookie, that was the opportunity of a lifetime. Someone believed in my story enough to want to publish it.

Fast-forward eight years and this is most of my career in one image.

I’ve learned to write better and polished my storytelling skills.

I’ve learned to market my books and built a brand.

I’ve met countless fantastic people, including the amazing authors in the Authors’ Billboard group, which I had the privilege of joining in 2018.

I fulfilled my dream of being the first Romanian who became a USA Today bestselling author.

I’m part of literary circles I never dreamed I’d be a part of.

I was recently accepted into a steamy romance anthology sponsored by one of the biggest figures in publishing, Craig Martelle, Inc. My story, along with nineteen others, were selected out of nearly two hundred submissions.

I started a new pen name and I’m exploring new genres.

Some of my books have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and the work is ongoing.

It really is that first step that matters, because without that, none of this would be possible. No matter how small it seems sometimes, each step forward matters. It’s progress. And whatever you do, I hope this story will give you a bit of inspiration – whether it’s to take the first step toward fulfilling your dream, or the next step forward.

If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please visit melindadeross.com. I would LOVE to hear from you!

Also, remember to check our website for the Authors’ Billboard fabulous collections of books and box sets, all of which are the best deals you find on the market.

Love,

Melinda

New 99 cents release and a giveaway! @melinda_colt #mgtab

Hi there!

I hope your week has started well, and if you’re a fan of mysteries and giveaways, I have great news for you!

Some of you who bought The Authors’ Billboard box set, Dear Santa, might have already read my novella, Saving Maddie, a part of my Irish Garda Series. If you haven’t, I just released my single title and priced it at 99 cents, so all readers can get a bite-size taste of my new series.

Detective Finola ‘Finn’ McGregor enjoys her job at An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s police force. In a country with a low crime rate, a cop’s job isn’t as exciting as people might think—until Finn becomes part of a team that uncovers a network of human traffickers, specializing in kidnapping children and forcing them to beg on the streets.

Finn’s sense of justice would’ve compelled her to solve the case anyway, but when she meets one of the trafficker’s victims, her resolve strengthens. One look into the little girl’s sad, blue eyes, and Finn would willingly give her life to save Maddie.

 

Delving into the mystery and thriller genre is new to me, and I am just starting my media presence under my new pen name, Melinda Colt. For this purpose I have organized a giveaway on my Facebook and Instagram pages. For a chance to win a signed paperback and a $50 Amazon Gift Card, I hope you’ll join me there and enter the giveaway.

Aaaannnd…. I still have ONE more surprise for you! If you’re looking for a FREE read this week, check out this review copies giveaway that we’ve put together on Story Origin for you!

Until next time, stay safe and be well, my friends!

 

Hugs,

SAVING MADDIE – behind the scenes

Hello on this beautiful October day!

I hope the weather is nice wherever you are. After two weeks of rain and wind, I get to see the sun today! It’s almost like it knows we’re celebrating something. 😊

First of all, exactly one week from today our box set, DEAR SANTA: A Christmas Wish, will be released, on October 27. This box set is special in many ways, both for us at The Authors’ Billboard, and for our readers as well. We held a contest, picked eighteen winners, and each author in this box set wrote a story for their winner, hence fulfilling their Christmas wishes.

My story is called Saving Maddie, and it’s about an Irish detective who saves several children who were forced to beg on the streets. Last year I began a brand new series, The Irish Garda Files, a collection of mystery thrillers about detectives from An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s police force, the complicated cases they solve, and the challenges of pursuing love as a cop.

When given the wonderful opportunity to write a story for this box set, I immediately wanted to give people a glimpse into my new series. Saving Maddie features Detective Finola McGregor, a young, idealist policewoman who becomes part of the team in charge with saving three children from human trafficking. The idea of the story came to me while reading a true crime article about several Roma children that were either kidnapped or sold by their parents to human traffickers. The idea that modern slavery exists is horrifying, and most of us prefer pretending this doesn’t exist.

I decided to tackle this sensitive subject, and write an Oliver Twist kind of story where the protagonist is a young girl whose biggest wish is to have a family. Saving Maddie is a heartwarming and heart wrenching story, which teaches us that miracles truly exist, as do people willing to risk their lives for others. It’s a story about human nature, hope and courage. Most of all, it’s a tale of love and healing.

Since I’ve been writing The Irish Garda Files series I have been immersed in the world of those who protect and serve us. I’ve learned so many things about life as a police officer, and most of all, I grew as an author. What I like most about this series is that each book features different characters, which gives me endless possibilities for new stories. Saving Maddie is only the beginning.

This brings me to my second reason to celebrate: announcing that today is the release day of my second Irish Garda novel, Killer Score. Like all of my novels, this book also has an interesting story behind it. I invite you to read it on my personal blog here.

As many of my fellow authors mentioned, we are trying to land a spot on the USA Today bestsellers list with our box set, Dear Santa—that’s our Christmas wish. This means that every sale matters. If you haven’t bought our collection of eighteen stories for only 99 cents, please consider doing so and supporting us in our dream. We know that times are hard for everyone, but if you can spare a penny to help us out, Santa will make sure you’ll be rewarded. We encourage you to buy from Apple, Kobo, Barnes&Noble and Google Play if you can, because those sales are more difficult to get.

Many thanks for your support, whatever form it takes. Whether you can buy the set, share this post to help us spread the word, or simply follow us in our journey.

Stay safe and stay healthy. Better times will come for all of us!

Bittersweet Beginnings 🍂🍁

Have you ever wanted something so badly that when you finally got it you didn’t know how to react? Well, it’s happening to me now. For weeks, I’ve been wondering what to write in this post, and here I am now, living my big day and not knowing what to say.

2020 is one of the most difficult and controversial years in our contemporary history—I know some of you survived much more difficult times. All of this year, I tried not to complain, not to despair, not to fear the future. I faced it with a smile on my face and forced optimism, immersing myself in work. Because, like everyone else, I had plans for 2020.

Today is the launch of my new pen name and the release of my first book in a new genre.

It’s the beginning of an era for me.

I’ve been planning this moment for a whole year. I’ve poured so much heart, sweat, tears and sleepless nights into this project, trying to perfect every single detail of my new adventure. I’ve agonized for months before I decided to start writing under a new pen name, because I wanted to keep my audiences separate and not mislead my romance fans by giving them mysteries and thrillers.

For weeks I’ve studied potential pen names before I chose Melinda Colt, a name that is actually close to my own, Melinda Coliolu. It does sound better though, and it evokes action, danger, hopefully a little sexiness—all that I try to include in my books. Plus, it’s easier to pronounce. 😊

During the past year I have worked relentlessly to write the first three novels in my new series, The Irish Garda Files. I have researched, hunted for information, knocked on doors, and even reached out to An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s police force, to assist me in my writing. With every sentence, I struggle to offer my readers the best product, the most authentic and heartfelt journey. Of all my hobbies, reading has been my favorite since I was four years old. Escaping into books and living along my favorite characters is such a fantastic experience it’s impossible to describe. I want to give that to my readers. If only one of you escapes in my stories and loves them so much you wish they never end, then my mission as a writer is complete.

I spent the past few months preparing frantically to launch Dare Game, the first book in the series. My hands still shiver with anxiety as I check my sales and reviews. What if readers won’t like it? What if people won’t buy it? What if it will get buried among the millions of books on Amazon and no one will find it?

I’ve never been this honest and open about my feelings in a public post. I’ve learned the hard way never to show vulnerability, because in this day and age a lot of people prey on it just for kicks. I know I will get some hate for this post. I know I will get some indifference. But, most of all, I hope I will get some love and understanding.

Because launching a dream of this magnitude during a frigging pandemic sucks!

I know you’re well aware of that. All over the world people lost their jobs, cancelled their weddings, went bust in their businesses, got separated from their families, lost loved ones, or lost their lives prematurely.

We’re living some crazy times. It seems that everything is trying to kill us—Covid-19, the weather, the worldwide political and financial crisis, and pretty much everything we eat, drink, or breathe. Everyone is affected by some or all of this.

To me, September 22nd 2020 was all about me and my new book—the light at the end of the tunnel. I literally survived this entire year dreaming and dreading this day. Well, today isn’t about that anymore. According to Google, on this fall equinox we’re celebrating a number of things: Falls Prevention Awareness Day, National Elephant Appreciation Day, Hobbit Day, National Ice Cream Cone Day, National Singles Day, National Temperature Control Day, National Voter Registration Day, National White Chocolate Day.

All of these things are more important than one book. Because while this book might be valuable to me, those things up there are valuable to all of us. All I can hope for is that one day, maybe decades from now, my writing will matter enough to be included in a list like that—maybe somewhere between ice cream and chocolate.

For today though, I just want to share my joy with you, and hope you won’t judge me too harshly because of my weaknesses.

And if you’re wondering what I’ve been talking about for the last ten minutes, feel free to check out the infamous—not yet famous—Dare Game. I would be honored to hear your opinions.

 

Stay healthy and safe,

Melinda