Apple Strudel and other news… 😊 @melinda_de_ross #mgtab

Happy Apple Strudel Day!

How do you feel about pastries? I adore them, which makes it really hard for me, because I have decided to cut back on sugar and carbs. The pandemic brought me a few extra pounds and a lot more aches and pains than a year ago. While I’ve been putting everything on account of being sedentary, I’m starting to think that eating sugar several times a day might contribute to all that. 🤔

However, I have a lot to show for all those hundreds of hours spent with my butt in the chair, glued to my laptop. It’s been a while since my last news bulletin, so make yourself comfy! 😊

First of all, I am super happy to let you know I sold the gaming rights for three of my books: my suspense romance, The Diary, and two detective mystery romances, Killer Score and Silent Strike, written in my other pen name, Melinda Colt. I don’t know when the games will be developed or in what format, but if you’re subscribed to my NL or follow me on social media, you will be the first to know!

The other news is that you can grab not one, but TWO of my stories for free!

BANG! is a short story that is available exclusively through my newsletter.

The other one, HOOKED, is a re-release of a novella that I wrote last year and which is now free at all major retailers. Whether you’re going on a holiday this summer, you have two beach reads that will give you a free taste of my Lovestruck series – if you haven’t read it already.

Hopefully I left you with a craving for books (and probably pastry). Until next time, I wish you a wonderful summer, stay healthy and happy!

 

Hugs,

Melinda

 

 

FREE eBooks for the Taking @Donna_Fasano

Who doesn’t love FREE eBooks? No one I know, that’s for sure! Click the covers (or the links) below to download your free copy. Download one or two or all of them. There’s no purchase necessary in order to take advantage of this offer. The writers at Authors’ Billboard love it when readers enjoy our work.

Free eBooks

Nothing can make Native American Mat Makwa give up being a New York City police officer… except one little girl—all alone in the world—who needs a father. Returning to his Kolheek reservation to take on the safer job of sheriff of this small, close-knit community, he never expects his heart might be in danger to school teacher Julie Dacey. FREE June 16th – 20th. Click here to download a Kindle copy of AN HONORABLE MAN.

Find all the books in the Black Bear Brothers by clicking here.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Jade Emperor

After a stranger appears on their doorstep late one night, a picture-perfect family takes a side-trip to crazytown in this story of a soldier’s last chance at love. Download your FREE copy of THE JADE EMPEROR.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Road to Recovery

After surviving a horrific car crash, Brooke Malone is ready to start over. The last thing she wants is the distraction of a relationship. Least of all with a sexy more-than-perfect coworker who is adamant about needing to help her. Download your free copy of ROAD TO RECOVERY today.

Find all the books in The Road Series by clicking here.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Not enough FREE eBooks? Here’s more:

Cured

For six years, Ember has closed off her heart, moving from one man to another, trying to feel something other than her own pain and guilt. Plastic surgeon Colt Barnes offers Ember a challenge meant to get her to view herself in a new light–and it’s a challenge that will change both their lives. Download your FREE copy of CURED now.

Click here to learn about all the titles in the Heal Me Series.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Lost Dani Haviland

Indulge in snippets from the epic tale while discovering how LOST – the lusty and indulgent eighteenth-century time-travel romance – changed the lives of several twenty-first century men and women: a gay detective, a crew of nurses, inept crooks stuck in Alaska, a British lord with the wife from hell, and several other very interesting people who are destined to be in each other’s lives. Download a copy of LOST by clicking here.

Find all the books in The Fairies Saga by clicking here.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Retaliation

A virgin librarian with hot-chick potential, the conflicts in her story won’t let you put the book down. Be prepared for an all-nighter…  Download a FREE copy of RETALIATION today!

Look for all the titles in the Her Sweet Revenge Series by clicking here.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Cracked Open

Oceanside, CA. I miss you! Photo © Ev Bishop

I’ve just returned from a very restful, inspiring, sun-drenched, sand-filled, saltwater-soaked vacation in Newport Beach, California.

I loved playing in the white sand that was hot under my feet. I adored wearing flip-flops as I tripped along the boardwalk, knowing friends and co-workers back home were in their winter gear, suffering fresh snow and below freezing temperatures. (Sorry guys!) And it was very special to spend do-nothing-but-have-fun family time with my husband, nieces, sister, stepmom, and daughter. The biggest impact of the trip, however, came from the ocean.

I was amazed by her. Awed.

Obviously, living where I do, I’m already familiar with the Pacific—but let me tell you: her waters are very different up in northern British Columbia than they are in southern California.

I spent a lot of time playing in the surf, being knocked down and getting up again, being dragged back into deeper water as the ocean readied to send another wave, and, most fun of all, swimming out over my head, beyond the crash line, where even the hugest waves were just starting as rolling swells. Above me, the sky was so blue and just . . . huge. And all around me, as far as my eye could see, was water. Since it’s California’s “winter” too, there weren’t a lot of locals in the water. Sometimes, for hours, I was the only one.

And maybe it was the salt pulling things out of me, the same way soaking in Epsom salts releases toxins. Or maybe it was because it was the first time in far, far too long where I didn’t have anywhere to go specifically or anyone I had to see, and my mind was deliciously free and uncluttered. Or perhaps it was the sounds of the ocean working to bring the tide in or out, the sea birds calling and swooping about, blotting out any noise in my head . . . But whatever the reason or combination of reasons, something deep inside me cracked open, and I had one of those strange epiphanies, where you can see so clearly where you’ve come from, where you are, and where you want to go next.

Sometimes it’s easy to lie to ourselves, to make excuses for why we’re standing still instead of moving forward, to justify our reasons for sticking with things that are no longer a good fit.

I found that out there, salt-crusted, saturated and awed by the unmitigated power, depth and magnitude of the ocean, it was impossible to be false with myself. I might as well have tried to keep the surf from crashing, or the sand from pulling away beneath my feet in the after effects of the waves. But it wasn’t a negative or self-condemning sort of feeling. I didn’t beat myself up for work not done or goals not accomplished. And it wasn’t merely a giddy, momentary flash of newfound enthusiasm (though I did feel those lovely bursts too). The feeling was a deep sense of readiness, of quiet resolution and surety. A sense that change is coming, and instead of fighting it or being afraid of it, I was going to welcome it and move with it.

I kept waking up my first couple of nights home because I missed the sound of the surf—and I’d only been away eight days. I’ve carried the decision I arrived at in the waves with me, however, and while my suntan’s receding, my resolve hasn’t waned.

I’ll be making some exciting announcements the next two months or so. In the meantime, if you can somehow sneak away to a beach—ocean, river or lakeside—to do some thinking and dreaming, I highly recommend it.

So good for what, if anything, ails you. Photo © Ev Bishop

Author’s Note: I have NOT just returned from a sunny beach vacation, but a photo from the 2015 trip I shared about above just popped up as a FaceBook Memory, plus showed on my website as a “past post you might enjoy.” I can take a hint! I do need to have some ocean time again soon, but for now, this was a good reminder and refresher. . . ahhhh!

And the bit about “having exciting announcements to make in the next few months” is absolutely current too! Stay tuned for a big reveal on April 1st—no fooling!)

Can’t get away for a soak in the sea right now, but still craving a little escape? Look no further than INVINCIBLE SECRETS, a 9-novel set brought to you by me and 8 other bestselling, award-winning Authors’ Billboard authors. Book your getaway now! JUST .99 or FREE on KU.

Diana Gabaldon and me

Is there someone in your life who made a huge difference even though you’ve never been introduced? Well, I have and her name is Diana Gabaldon.

Photo courtesy Variety – Terrence Patrick

How did she impact my life on such a grand scale? It started with a gift. My eldest daughter gave me a paperback book for Christmas. On it was a little handwritten tag. ‘The story of the most perfect man in the world.’ Yup. Outlander, the story of a time traveler and the man she fell in love with.

The story reignited my fascination with time travel that H.G. Wells had lit when I was a teenager. When checking her website to see if she had more books, I noticed we were born the same year and both attended the same university at the same time. I wondered if she had endured the same jerk I had for Freshman English. Until he came into my life, I loved writing. What stuck with me, though, was her declaration that if you love to write, WRITE!
My passion to create stories had returned. What would happen if I fell into Outlander? I couldn’t get that idea out of my head. Little themes kept sprinting through my head, twisting through forests of elaborate scenarios, bumping into encounters between her fictional characters and mine.
So, overcoming the literary passion-gutting of my Western Literature professor at NAU thirty years earlier, I started to write again. Working full time and with a daughter in school, all I had were late nights and stolen moments for my new obsession. Of course, I couldn’t use Outlander, so I created a different fictional time travel story. The premise remained the same, though: an older woman is rejuvenated and awakes in a different time, interacting with fictional characters from her favorite romance novel.
I didn’t publish anything for a long time, but I did keep writing. Did I even want to be published? Well, sort of. I wanted my novels to be available to my daughters and granddaughter (no male heirs). Being published had to be the best way to do that. Photocopies and journals were easily lost. Searching library systems for Nana’s name would be easier.
I had four books written before I published my first one. The first two in the series still weren’t ready to be shared and I knew it. I cringe when I look back at my early drafts. But you know what? The passion kept me going. Now if I reread my stories, I smile with pride. I didn’t give up. I didn’t think I’d ever finish that first book (now free), Naked in the Winter Wind but I did. Right now, I’m working on number thirty-one. Take that, NAU Professor!

No matter who inspires you, take that kernel of desire and work toward your dream, revel in your passion. Do no harm and be respectful, and who knows, maybe you’ll be an inspiration to others, too!
Thanks, Diana!

Love living the life of the rich and famous but without the debt or paparazzi? Check out ALL THAT GLITTERS: GLITZ, GLAM, AND BILLIONAIRES. See if your Mr. Marvelous is in here.