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

Pandemic Pollyanna

With all the scary news stories spreading faster than the actual Corona Virus pandemic, I think it’s time to play The Glad Game. It was created by one of my Favorite Fabulous Females of Fiction, Pollyanna. The premise is simple: look for the good in every bad situation.
As Pollyanna said, “When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it.” So, let’s search out bright spots!
What are the two suggestions to keep healthy? Hand washing and social distancing. Cool! I have loads of fancy sweet-smelling soaps (a passion of mine: read Naked in the Winter Wind, a perma-free novel) and now I can share a few bars with friends without feeling like I’m suggesting they stink.
Social distancing: lots of schools and gathering places are shut down and events canceled here. What about your area? I believe that’s just a reason to read more (or maybe write more). My daughter’s wedding was canceled when the venue called her and said they were shutting down until further notice. Her glad: she still had her fiance’.
If you’re not sick, remember to be grateful. Or to paraphrase Pollyanna, ‘There’s your glad!’
The moral of the story: Accentuate the positive! But still, wash your hands. You want to spread optimism, not germs.

An eye-opening way to spend those hours of social distancing: reading about this Mama and her triplet chicks! No news updates guaranteed! Read the first four stories of my new series, TRIPLETS: THREE AREN’T ONE, only available in these sets. (The fifth story is still in process)

Invincible Secrets and THE SET UP. Where it all begins: with Mama. Learn Grace’s secret and how she tries to deal with it. Gritty women’s fiction.

All That Glitters: Glitz, Glam, and Billionaires. Come live the life of the privileged in this set of stories about movie stars, princes, and billionaires. This is where you’ll find the story of Vickie in DIAMONDS AREN’T FOR EVERYONE.

Doctors in Love 2: Sexy and Determined. Brought up by a father who ran a non-profit mobile medical clinic, Ria’s healing skills were evident at an early age. Could she mend a wounded heart? THAT MAGIC TOUCH, one of seven stories about healers helping others.

Cute But Crazy – Wacky, Wonderful Women. Once you’ve read about Mama and the first two triplets, you’ll be ready for Tori in HOW LOVE GROWS. Her imaginary friends just might be real, but will the young pot grower who came to help Papa on the marijuana grow site believe her or think she’s CUTE BUT CRAZY? – The Authors’ Billboard first Romantic Comedy set. Preorder now. Read in two days (March 20).

If You Could Live Your Life Over Again…

If you had your life to live all over again, what would you do differently? Would you go to – or stay in – college? Would you pass on marrying that guy you dated throughout high school and take care of yourself first, not him?
How about never smoking (not guilty)? Or ever overeating (guilty)? Would you have tried harder to make that first marriage work and not rushed into divorce (no comment)?

If any of these thoughts tumble over and over in your head, like dark and light clothes in a dryer, then you might have the internal wiring of a writer. At least, that’s how I started.

‘What ifs’ are great beginnings to fiction! ‘What if a tornado carried a farmhouse in Kansas away to a mystical land and it fell down on a wicked witch, freeing a bunch of little folks from her terror?’ L. Frank Baum wondered, wrote it down, and the rest is literary (and cinematic) history.

Did all the horrible or fantastic events I’ve written about in my thirty or so books actually happen? Absolutely not! How about Stephen King? Let’s hope not! But regardless, creative minds manufacturing worlds and people (and critters) to populate them makes life so much more interesting.
Just because it seems like a great idea, how about grabbing a virtual (or real) box of chocolates and downloading a Valentines Day box set or two or three into your Kindle? They’re free to read with Kindle Unlimited (http://bit.ly/2KuSignUp). Oh, and if you haven’t tried KU, the first month is free! Hundreds of thousands of books to read for only $9.99 a month. And that’s not fiction!
Unforgettable Valentine, A Valentine She’ll Remember and Sweet and Sassy Valentine, dozens of Happy Ever Afters to make you smile or maybe blush…but certainly great diversion.