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

Changes, deals and easy meals

Happy National Homemade Bread Day!

Yep, that’s a thing, and I didn’t know it until today. This reminds me of the days back in high school, when my dad fell in love with homemade bread. For about a year I made bread every single day, a recipe that I had learned from my grandmother, and by the next day without fail there was not a single crumb left.

I haven’t made bread in years, but a few days ago I made a delicious batch of cheesy snacks, which in Romania are called “sărățele”. These are made with cheese, butter, eggs and flour. You can sprinkle all sorts of things on top of them, like poppy seeds, grated cheese, sesame seeds, or whatever you like. Find the recipe here.

And because nothing goes better with a snack than a good book, I would like to present to you my new covers. The trend for rom-com covers leans heavily on illustrations right now, so I decided to give my covers a facelift. What do you think?

Today and tomorrow, Celebrity is at 99 cents, so if you haven’t given it a try already, now is the time!

And for all the binge-readers out there who love to read rom-com after rom-com, laugh, dream, and forget about the news for a while, I put together a box set with my entire Lovestruck series.

I hope you have a great rest of the week, and I wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

Melinda

 

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Happy Halloween from Transylvania! (for real!) 🎃

Hello, friends!

Most of you celebrate Halloween tomorrow, and I can’t tell you how lucky you are. I live in Romania, and sadly, Halloween isn’t a local tradition (imagine that, in the land of Dracula!).  Although, if one wants to dress up there’s always a club or party where, for one night a year, we can be whoever we want to be.

One of my favorite characters is the classy, timeless Morticia Addams, because, like her, I have a strong dose of cynicism and a macabre sense of humor at times. And I even found a man who appreciates this stuff. What more can one wish for?

I’ve always been fascinated by Halloween as a holiday, which is why I am already writing my second book that takes place around this time of year. The first one is Killer Score, a novel from the Irish Garda Files, which won the RONE award for Best Suspense/Mystery of 2021.

In Killer Score, psychologist Chelsea Campbell explains the meaning of Halloween to Evan Gallagher, an ex-FBI agent recently transferred to work as a detective for the Irish police.

“Halloween really is a big deal around here, too,” Evan observed while driving.

“Sure it is. Don’t you celebrate it in America?”

“We do, big time. Somehow, I’ve never gotten the spirit of it. Maybe it’s because in modern times it’s more of a commercial holiday than a true celebration of… the spirits’ world—or whatever its meaning. To be shamefully honest, I never knew exactly what this holiday was about.”

Chelsea shifted her body to make herself more comfortable. “Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, is a Celtic holiday that marked Samhain, the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. The Celts thought this was the darkest time of the year, when the boundaries between this world and the otherworld thinned, and the spirits or fairies could come into this world more easily. The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Places were set at the dinner table and by the fire to welcome them. The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year and must be appeased has ancient origins and is present in many cultures throughout the world. This is what Halloween is really about.”

This explanation takes place while they drive to a Halloween party. As I wrote this scene I could almost hear Chelsea’s voice and Irish accent, that seems to enhance a good storytelling on a cold October night.

And because my books mirror life as much as possible, we also have a romantic scene at the club. Let’s see who else listens to my kind of music! 😉

The music changed and the DJ dedicated the slow version of Santana’s Black Magic Woman to all the ladies in the place. As the exotic guitar filled the air with magic, Chelsea smiled, closing her eyes and letting her head fall back. Evan couldn’t resist. Unthinkingly, he drew her into his arms, moving his body in tune with hers. Their shoulders glided together, their hips undulated close together. The music was like a drug. His hands tightened on her hips, traveled up her back, enjoying the exquisite caress of her hair. Her fingers sunk in the muscles of his chest, clutching handfuls of his shirt. As the music grew more intense, so did their dance, the friction, the heat, the closeness. Evan buried his face in her hair, hoping for solace, finding none. The fresh, spicy scent of her was maddening, promising things beyond his imagination. He didn’t want to want her, but his body burned to touch her, to have her, to possess her. She had a magnetic quality he’d never encountered in any other woman. Maybe because she wasn’t just a babe with a stunning body. She also had a powerful and intriguing mind. She constantly challenged him, and he never backed down from a challenge.

If that got your blood warm, this next—and final teaser—should make it run cold again, because alas, the killer strikes again. And what better night than Halloween?

“Bad doings tonight, Yank. All Hollow’s Eve should be a night for bringing back lost life, not taking it. I don’t know what’s going on in this city, but you have to stop it. We can’t have any more lassies killed and discarded like rag dolls.”

 Well, you tell me guys: was this a trick or a treat?

Happy Halloween from Transylvania! (for real!) 🦇

Fondly,

Melinda

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

I should be stronger.

I should be smarter.

I should be slimmer.

I should be healthier.

I should be better.

I should do more.

How many times have you asked yourselves these questions? How many times have you forced out a smile and said, “I’m alright” when someone asked how you are? I bet that the answer is “All the time.” You probably feel that you can’t speak up when you have a bad day, or a bad year, that people will think you’re complaining, that your friends and family have their own issues and you don’t want to burden them with yours.

I know. I’ve been there. Hell, I live there! And you know what? I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to not be okay. That sometimes “How are you?” is an honest inquiry about your well-being, and someone actually cares about the answer.

I rarely open up about my life. I feel that if people know about my problems that’s a sign of weakness and vulnerability. And yes, there have been times when I regretted my candor. But there have been many more times when talking to a loved one or even to a stranger saved my sanity—or at least, it put a band-aid on it.

I’m having the hardest year of my life. In November 2021 my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. It’s a cliché, but I never thought something like that could happen to him. He used to say this kind of illness would never get close to him, but it did. All the doctors I talked to said he probably had a few months left to live. I didn’t tell my father that, and I didn’t believe it. He was the strongest man I knew, I was sure he was going to beat this illness. Although the odds were grim, I kept hoping and fighting with every weapon I had. How weak each of them were…

What followed were six months of an emotional rollercoaster. He did so well when he first started chemotherapy that I began believing he would be okay. I did my best to take care of him, spend time with him, pushed myself to limits I didn’t know I had. But fate tricked us. Each step we took, even before his diagnosis, was always a step behind the illness. The healthcare system moved too slowly, the tests took too long, the doctors didn’t monitor him properly. So in the final month I watched my father go through a terrible agony, before he passed away in May this year. It was like watching Zeus fall.

wellbeing

If hell exists, it cannot possibly be worse than dying like that, or than watching someone you love die. It’s something that changes you forever. There is no going back to the person you were before after watching a loved one die under your helpless eyes.

Needless to say, this was the biggest trauma in my life, and the pain is far from being over. It took a toll on everything, including my writing career. I was already having trouble with writer’s block, and my dad’s diagnosis completely killed my creativity. I only wrote a few pages here and there since November 2021. And all this time, day after day, I have been beating myself up for not being able to write. I’m still beating myself up for feeling down, for being depressed, for being tired, for not meeting my own (unrealistic) expectations, and so much more.

I deleted this article many times before I decided to publish it. I have no idea who will read it, and bearing your soul in front of strangers is damn hard and uncomfortable. But you know what? I think it’s brave too. And sometimes it can bring you relief and peace such as you never knew. Because we are all humans, we all suffer, and we should comfort each other. There is too much hate and pain around us, and the world seems a pretty bad place right now.

So give yourself a break when you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Talk to people. Cultivate friendships. Help others. Because a better world starts with you and me. And so does a happier life.

If you’ve come this far, I would like to thank you for reading and to ask How are you? Tell me in the comments, and who knows? You might find a new friend today.

Until next time, sending you love and strength.

Melinda

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