The good, the bad, and the ugly

Dear friends,

It’s been a while since I was able to check in and give you an update. This is one of the most challenging things that I ever wrote, because the past months have been very difficult for me. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of November, so the holidays were dark and grim in my family. Just when the first spring sunrays seemed to head our way, war started in Ukraine. I live in Romania, which shares a border with Ukraine. It’s fortunate because we are able to help hundreds of thousands of refugees, but it also makes the horrors of war too close for comfort. However, I have no right to complain. I can’t even imagine what the poor people across the border have to endure every moment, living and dying in constant bombardment, as their country is destroyed, inch by inch.

The thought that this destruction might extend throughout the whole world is daunting. I’m only thirty-six years old, and already I’ve lived through a pandemic, the terrible illness of a loved family member, and now I am witnessing a war.

Needless to say that all of this has affected my creativity. I want to apologize to you all. I know you’re waiting for the next books, and I am struggling harder than you think to write the best mysteries that I can. That includes a lot of research, endless brainstorming, writing, deleting, not to mention mustering the physical and emotional state to write. I’ve had a lot more bad days than good, so the progress is slow, but I try to celebrate the small victories, like hitting the first 10k of a new book!

It’s a new series, which I’m very excited about. I can’t tell you anything about it yet, so please be patient with me. I just hope you will continue to share these small joys and make these baby steps with me.

In the meantime, I would love to offer you a free short story from my Lovestruck collection, which is available exclusively on my website, melindadeross.com. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 🙂☘️

Also, I have another series that I would love to recommend, because as a friend of mine says, we all turn to books for solace when reality becomes too harsh to endure.

If you would like to help the people of Ukraine in any way, fellow AB author Stephanie Queen has generously put together an anthology of ten stories, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to support Ukrainian refugees all over the world. Please consider buying this box set, so that someone who had to abandon their home can have a hot meal, medicine, or a bed for the night.

Stay safe,

Melinda

☘️ Something special for Saint Patrick’s Day! ☘️

Saint Patrick’s Day is by far the most famous Irish holiday, and it has come to be celebrated all over the world. Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary whose name marks the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Today, he is the foremost patron saint of Ireland. On March 17 many people across the globe celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with parades and festivals, Irish traditional music sessions, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. At the end of the celebrations, a shamrock is put into the bottom of a cup, which is then filled with whiskey, beer, or cider. It is then drunk as a toast to Saint Patrick, Ireland, or those present. The shamrock would either be swallowed with the drink or taken out and tossed over the shoulder for good luck.

As fun as this sounds, no wonder so much of the world celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day!

I’ve become fascinated by Irish culture through several Nora Roberts books, so much so that I’ve decided to create my own series that takes place in Dublin. The Irish Garda Squad is a series of detective mysteries/police procedural books with a touch of romance. Each book features exciting new characters and follows the journeys of the Irish Police detectives, the complicated cases they solve, and the challenges these cops face in their personal lives.

All the stories can be read as stand-alone novels, in any order.

The first two books, Dare Game and Killer Score, have both received Crowned Heart Reviews of Excellence from Ind’Tale Magazine, a distinction that is not given lightly. I’m particularly proud to have gotten two such reviews for two books in a row, and I hope the third Garda book will live up to the standards.

To be honest, I planned to release Silent Strike, the next Garda book, today on March 17, but I weaved such a twisted plot I got tangled in it myself. 😂 After many ups and down, I’m finally working on the last chapters, and with a bit of luck from Saint Patrick himself, I will be releasing the book in April. If you’d like to be notified when it’s published, make sure you follow me on Amazon and BookBub, or subscribe to my Newsletter.

If you haven’t checked out the published books yet, you can find them on Amazon and read them for free in Kindle Unlimited.

I hope you have a wonderful day, whether you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day or not. We could all use a bit of luck right now. 😉

Stay safe and read books!

 

Hugs,

A Colt is born

Colt

Or simply a new pen name, a new identity, a new beginning.

Many of you know me as Melinda De Ross, writer of quirky romantic comedy and tension-filled romantic suspense. But like many of my favorite authors and role models, including Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Loreth Ann White, and others, I feel it’s time to expand my horizons. I’ve always wanted to write crime thrillers and mysteries, but only after being a professional writer for seven years did I feel I was ready. And this is how my new pen name, Melinda Colt, is born.

garda seriesMy first dive into the crime thriller genre is a series of detective mysteries with a twist of romance called The Irish Garda Files.

Why Irish? Well, I felt there are enough FBI, NYPD, LAPD, and other PD’s books out there – some of them true masterpieces I could never surpass, written by talented members of this very group. So I wanted to write something new, something different. Ireland is a country with a low crime rate, but An Garda Síochána, their police service, is extremely competent and well-trained. I’d imagined how the fictional Garda detectives I have created would solve complicated, challenging cases, and this is how the first three Garda Books came to be: Dare Game, Killer Score, and Foul Play. I hope the flesh-and-blood Garda members will never have to confront such twisted killers in real life, but I know they deserve to be the heroes in my books.

Researching this series was a huge operation and I’d like to thank the Garda Síochána themselves for being so helpful and patient when I reached out and asked for their cooperation. I was pleasantly surprised by their promptitude as they answered my questions and explained police procedures I didn’t know about. My books are fictional, but as crime thrillers go I wanted to offer you, my readers, the most authentic experience I could create. I hope you’ll be there with my detectives, both male and female, go over the clues, inspect murder scenes and cyber data, feel the tension that builds up when they know a serial killer will strike at any moment and it’s up to them to make sure there isn’t another victim.

The first three books in The Irish Garda Files are up for pre-order, and I hope one day I will reach JD Robb’s record and publish the 50th Garda book. I’m just getting started and writing these books is incredibly fun and rewarding.

While I worked on them last year and prepared my launch, I outlined every detail, calculated the timing, worked very hard to make the moment when I present my new pen name perfect. I thought I had everything figured out – except I didn’t predict this moment will be in the middle of a pandemic. But you know what? I won’t let this get in the way of my celebration – not the virus, not the quarantine, not even the financial crisis that will follow.

dare-game_preview-coverThis is just a phase and we’ll get through this together. What better way to practice social distancing than to escape in captivating stories that tear us away from every alarming piece of “breaking news”?

To make you forget about it for a while, it’s my pleasure to offer you an exclusive preview into DARE GAME, the first Garda book, which you can download by subscribing to my newsletter HERE.

I would love to have you in my VIP club and share my journey with you! My author friends and I will offer you free books as often as possible to get through these difficult times. My social media accounts are just taking off and I very much hope you’ll join me there.

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And because I always like to save the best for last, I have a special Easter present for you: for a limited time I have decided to put DARE GAME, the first book in The Irish Garda Files, at the introductory price of 99 cents. Click on the image below to grab your copy today!

Stay safe and escape into books!

Melinda Colt signature

Bookish & Sexy women – not a myth! #mgtab @melinda_de_ross

I love books ever since I’ve learned to read, and although I enjoy many genres I find myself particularly drawn to stories that feature booklovers. Perhaps because everyone likes to live vicariously through their fictional characters; for a bookworm like me it’s easy to relate to another bookworm – even if she’s fictional. I also enjoy humorous stories and, of course, happy ever afters. If I wanted reality I’d watch the news. Instead, I like to surround myself with positivity and look harder at the brighter side of life.

This urged me to start my Bookish & Sexy Collection, a compilation of romantic comedies and chicklit stories about book-loving heroines and the men who love them.

“Each woman is a story” is my motto for this collection, because every story has its particularities and they can be read as stand-alones. What they have in common is beautiful, quirky heroines who sometimes don’t know how appealing they are, and sexy heroes who manage to love them the way they deserve. It’s not easy to love a woman who believes in fairytales and Prince Charming, because we have higher expectations than most. However, when we do find our Prince Charming, we give him the moon, the stars, even an entire galaxy.

So far, the Bookish & Sexy Collection includes three full-length novels (Celebrity, Unabridged, and Sacked!), a novella (Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas), and a novelette (Meeting Sam Klaus). Together, all of these stories cover a lot of ground, and while there’s no set formula for each of them, you can be sure you’ll find a lot of romance, some great laughs, and characters you’ll fall in love with!

Celebrity follows the journey of a gutsy woman who sets out to remake her life Hollywood-style, while dealing with betrayal and learning to handle success.

Unabridged is a second-chance romance between a modern Cinderella and the Prince Charming she abandoned years ago because she didn’t fit in his rich world.

Sacked! is the tragi-comic – accent on comic – job hunt of a klutzy young woman whose record-breaking bad luck turns when she meets a charming but troubled widower.

If you enjoy shorter reads, Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas is a perfect sum-up of an American Bridget Jones who starts a manhunt to find herself a boyfriend within a week. Online dating has never been more eventful…

And finally, Meeting Sam Klaus is what I call a reader magnet, a short story to give you a taste about what the series is like. This little romance is all about atmosphere and makes for a perfect read while you wait in line at the dentist or the DMV. 🙂

As you can see, there’s a story here for almost every taste – and they’re all free on Kindle Unlimited. There is no reading order, the stories are connected only through a theme that will carry out through the series. I hope you’ll give these sexy booklovers a chance to brighten your day, and if you like them please leave a review on Amazon. Happy reading!