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

Before and After Coronavirus:

Before: Go hug grandma.

After: Careful, stay away from grandma.

Before: Mom, you should go out more often. It’s good for your health.

After: Mom, please stay home. Don’t go out, you may catch it.

Before: No you can’t stay home, just because you don’t like the teacher.

After: No you can’t go to school, just because you want to see your friends.

Before: We are giving a dinner party. Make sure the table looks beautiful.

After: We are having a party. Make sure your Internet is working.

Before: Going out? Wear a nice outfit.

After: Going out? Wear a good mask.

Before: Three centuries ago, women wore fancy lace masks to conceal their identities when meeting a lover. How romantic! A year ago, bank robbers hid their faces behind stockings. Now they find it easier to wear a surgical mask. And banks face a unique Coronavirus problem.

After: Wearing a mask has become part of our daily life.

My masks for various errands.

Add your own Before and After.

The Senator’s Family Book 1, 2, 3 ,and 4 are already published. Books 5, 6, 7 coming soon.

Honeymoon Cruise: The Senator’s Family- Book 1 The perfect fiancé is a cheater and the fabulous Christmas wedding is off. But the would-be honeymoon cruise may fulfill the dreams of Julia and her unexpected companion.

Fake Fiancée: The Senator’s Family- Book 2 Her German shepherd is her only friend until a senator’s son refuses to take advantage of their fake engagement and teams up with her dog to protect her.

For Sarah’s Sake: The Senator’s Family- Book 3 A broken marriage. Second chance at love. And a precious little girl trying to escape danger and hatred to get herself a loving family.

Not Ready Yet: The Senator’s Family- Book 4 High school sweethearts separated by life…They meet years later, successful but different, each with a heavy baggage.

Sunshine Over Snow: The Senator’s Family- Book 5 When his children manage to ruin his second wedding, Brad is caught between a furious fiancée and an offended ex-wife, both determined to keep him and make him pay for his mistakes.

His Son, Her Daughter:The Senator’s Family- Book 6 High school sweethearts reunited after twenty years by their small children. Their conflicting baggage prevents them from fully trusting each other. Yet what wouldn’t Daniel do for his son and her daughter?

Between Babies and Girlfriends: The Senator’s Family- Book 7 Abandoned baby twins, a former girlfriend, an almost fiancée complicate Dr. Brian Dutton’s life to no end.

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

No New Resolutions by Mona Risk

May the New Year bring you health, joy, success, and many books. Have you made any resolutions for this year? Walk more? Eat less? Read more if you are a reader? Write more if you are an author?

Good books offer the best entertainment and vacation, sometimes even an armchair trip in the comfort of your home.

As I was reviewing my last year’s efforts and achievements, I discovered I wrote SEVEN new books. Seven?!  I was the first one amazed by the number! That makes more than a book every couple of months. Any short break was used for promotion, or editing and formatting.

Let’s count them:

Prince Philip’s Cinderella — Modern Princes Series, Book 4

It was also part of Sweet and Sassy Cinderella

A charming jogger saves her from danger. But he’s a prince… And she comes from nothing. Do fairytales exist today?

Not Ready Yet — The Senator’s Family Series, Book 4

It was also part of Unforgettable Charmers

M NotReadyYet.jpg
High school sweethearts separated by life… They meet years later, Successful but different, Each with a heavy baggage.

A Complete Family — Love You Doc Series, Book 1

It was also part of Unforgettable Christmas Dreams

Nurse Melody has an adorable four-year-old girl, a vicious German shepherd, a meddling neighbor-nanny. But Dr. Aidan wants to give her a complete family.

The Captain Christmas Leave –Sweet but Sassy Series, Book 2

It was also part of Christmas Shorts

Wounded and almost divorced, Dr. Joshua Alexander lost his medical career and any chance of happiness…until his sassy wife takes matters into her own hands.

A Dance for Prince Eric–Modern Prince Series, Book 5 Not published individually yet, but part of All That Glitters Box on pre-order

Love in the ER– Love You Doc Series, Book 2 Not published individually yet, but part of Doctors in Love 1 -Passionate and Dedicated on pre-order

Love on the Slopes– Love You Doc Series, Book 3 Not published individually yet, but part of Doctors in Love 2 -Sexy and Determined Coming soon