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

GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY

Skin.1000.1500Thinking there was safety in numbers, I made sure I didn’t go alone on my trip to a gentleman’s club as research for SKIN. In addition to my husband, I recruited a couple of other writers and another’s husband.
We had no idea what to expect.  Dark and seedy, perhaps? Poles on every table for table dances? Old strip club atmosphere?
To our surprise, the place looked like the night clubs I’d been to eons before. It was beautifully decorated, and the bouncers wore tuxes, the hostess and waitresses evening gowns. Along the walls were semi-private areas with luxurious booths for groups. But apparently those had been reserved ahead of time. We got to sit in the middle of the main floor at a long table with strangers. A little odd, but okay.
Many years ago, when I was in my early twenties, a group of us went to a couple of Rush Street strip clubs to see what they were like. Women weren’t allowed to be naked then. The wildest thing they did was twirl tassels that covered their nipples. But like everything else in the world, that certainly changed. In Chicago, “exotic dancers” have to wear g-strings if the club serves drinks – otherwise they can dance nude. This club served drinks, so they did have to wear g-strings, but that didn’t seem to matter to the sheer sexuality of the acts. Even more intense were the personal lap dances – and here I’d been sort of relieved there hadn’t been any poles on the tables.
It was really eye opening to see the intensity of the men who hired the woman for lap dances. And eye opening to see just how far those women would go for their tips. Men were not allowed to touch them, but I saw more than one woman whip both naked breasts into a man’s face while she was imitating the sex act straddling him.
The night took an amusing turn, however. The woman in our group who was alone had already been hit on by the hostess, who’d asked her if she wanted “company.” Of course, not being into women, she’d said no. That didn’t stop two of the lap dancers from soliciting her for dances. We all had a laugh about that one. And then the next act on stage started.
A more mature dancer, also a well-known “adult-movie” actress, did an old-fashioned strip routine, eliminating one piece of clothing at a time, including thigh high stockings that she rolled down her legs and then threw then out into the audience. Wouldn’t you know it – one of those stockings landed in my single friend’s diet coke. With a loud “eeeooowww” that got more laughs, she slapped it out of her drink. And then the guy next to me asked if he could have it. My friend said go ahead, and we all gaped as we watched him pick it up, smell it, then stuff it in an inner pocket of his suit jacked.
Eeeeooowwwwwwwwww!
An amusing end to the evening, one we all enjoyed. And one that provided me with a lot of ideas to realize the gentlemen’s club setting for SKIN.
I’ve said it many times – there’s nothing like personal research to make your story come alive 🙂

SKIN, a romantic thriller by Patricia Rosemoor

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