Monday, October 29, 2012

eBooks, Print Books, Upcoming Books

When is the next book coming out? That's the question I've been seeing most lately. I wish I could say it will be tomorrow, but it's going to be December for the next contemporary romance offering. Writing time has been tight this year because I have been busier with the business side of this work more than I ever imagined being. I've recruited help now and see this getting better over the next few months.

But as if I wasn't already busy enough for two people, over the weekend I had to buy a new computer which is like starting over in writer-land. I've spent two days rebuilding my files from a backup. I found unanswered email in strange folders. I'm surprised some of my writer friends are still talking to me.

I keep trying to change the anticipated release dates on my blogs and website, but it occurred to me that the I needed to get the word in a broader way. Soon I will have a monthly newsletter (yet another big thing that takes a ton of time). Unfortunately, I'm going to have to fess up that the next book in the Art of Love series is not going to get to happen this year after all. But don't hate me yet, I do have a shorter piece in the Art Of Love series that I will be releasing in December.

eBooks:  I spent the summer updating ebooks. I hired a new proofreader and we are making another pass through everything. We have finished the Never Too Late series and are currently starting the Art Of Love series. This is a time consuming, but very worthwhile endeavor. I want to release the best copies I can.  In preparation for working on the second series again, I had the AOL covers refreshed on existing books and the new cover made which is in this blog post. Isn't the portrait of Brooke Daniels pretty? I love it.

Print Books:  I am in the process of putting ALL the books in print. It takes me about a week to get each one ready. It takes the cover artist about that much time to do the cover. We've been working on this task since early October. The Never Too Late series is almost ready. So DATING A SILVER FOX will be available in print shortly, if you're planning to give it to your mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, or older, sexy friend for Christmas. I didn't realize how big DASF was as a novel until the print version came in at 302 pages without an excerpt. Wow. No wonder it took so long to finish it. That is one big book.

Upcoming books: Okay, so here is how things look from a writing perspective at the moment. I'm going to work from the future back because next year I will focusing on the contemporaries for the first six months, which I know many of you will be happy to hear.

Releasing between February - May 2013

NEXT GAME I PLAY (Book 2 in the Next Time Around series)
DATING A COUGAR II (Book 6 in the Never Too Late series)

Releasing in January 2013

COVERED IN PAINT (Book 5 of the Art of Love series)

I have started this book, but can tell already that I am not going to finish it in two months. It's going to be January 2013. My apologies to those who got their hopes up for the holidays, but wait....I won't totally disappoint you completely.

Please keep reading.

Releasing in December 2012


I'm going to be releasing an anthology of three shorter stories near Christmas. One features characters from the Art Of Love series. The story is about some friends of Will and Jessica's: a man who is learning to ride a motorcycle again, and a woman who is learning to take chances again. I'll put out samples around Thanksgiving so you can have a taste.

So while I won't get Brook and Drake's story finished by December, this smaller piece will ease everyone back into the AOL series (and hopefully my guilty conscience about neglecting it up to now--lol). I feel I must warn you that the stories in this anthology are a tad more steamy than my usual fare. I'm getting ready to release the hottest one of the three in a friend's print book this month or next (more about that later). Maybe these hot stories will warm you up over the cold winter months.

For the cross-over readers who read my other genre work, in November of 2012, I will be releasing a new paranormal/fantasy novel that it's taken me a couple of years to finish. It is called THE SHAMAN'S MATE. Then in December, I will be releasing THE HEALER'S KISS (Book 4 in the Forced To Serve series) which is another book that has taken me many months this year to finish. If you want to know more about either of these books, visit the Demons, Dragons, and Space Opera blog.

Have a good week. I hope I've given you one or two things to look forward to in upcoming months.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Art of Love Series Update: Book 5 is Next

There were many comments submitted about which book readers wanted next, but in the end, it leaned really heavily in the direction of the Art of Love series. So the next book I am going to write will be "Covered in Paint" which is Book 5 of the Art of Love Series. I don't have that cover yet, but will update this post when I do. However, in preparation for getting started on Book 5, and to do more justice to some of the stories, I had the covers refreshed.

Over the last year, I had many readers find this series either accidentally or by contacting me. Many wrote to me exclaiming "I didn't even know you had a second series!". After hearing this often, I decided to work with my artist to get the second series to look a little more familiar as my work.

I loved the covers of both Books 1 and 3 because they fit the stories so well. I especially loved the one for CAPTURED IN INK because it was perfect for the storyline (I swear my artist reads my mind). Anyway, for those two books, we changed fonts and colors, but basically kept the art. Books 2 and 4 got complete facelifts and I couldn't be happier with the results. 

I have to say seeing the fresh covers has revved me up again for this series. I'm really looking forward now to  revisiting the Larson men and their wives to see how things are working out after all the weddings in COMMISSIONED IN WHITE. I started re-reading CARVED IN STONE last week. I just love Will and his sons. Their scenes together are some of my favorite writing. Then Monday, I wept through CREATED IN FIRE. The storyline with Carrie's parents always chokes me up. Next up is Shane and Reesa in CAPTURED IN INK, one of my all time favorites. Everything in the story was a surprise to me.

For those who might not have read this series, I am including an overview in this post. Throughout the month of October, I'm also going to be re-release the excerpts on the blog along with bigger photos of the book covers. If the writing muses are kind, I'll have an excerpt of Book 5 ready to go out early November.

Speaking of Book 5, it is going to be called COVERED IN PAINT as a nod to Drake's art, which is portrait painting. This will be Brooke Daniels and Drake Barrymore's story.

You all know that I write a lot of "cougar" romances, but this book is going to be about an older man (Drake 42) falling in love with a younger woman (Brooke is 31).

Frankly, I don't know how I'm going to handle writing this book. This kind of relationship has just as many challenges and not all of them about age difference issues. To research, I may have to talk with my mother who habitually dated much older men before finally marrying someone 16 years her senior when she was 47. I'm marrying someone 13 years my junior. Yeah...I didn't get that from my

Description of the Art of Love series

This series starts with three books about a family of male artists consisting of a divorced father, William Everett Larson (53), and his two adult sons, Michael Larson (34) and Shane Larson (27). I genuinely like all three of these men as heroes. Each man has his own appeal and the woman he connects to romantically is equally interesting. Book 4 is a novella that I wrote because I didn't have the heart to make current fans of the series wait a whole year for closure on so many loose ends. It is primarily filled with weddings, business openings, and the setups for Books 5 and 6, which involve from additional family and friends from the new relationships from earlier books.

The Art Of Love series has many funny moments, but while humorous, it also hits on some very serious topics. The heroine in each book has some serious flaw and/or challenge in her life which the hero has to become willing to take on for their relationship to work. To help each couple with their struggle, the Art of Love series focuses on the role art plays in everyone's lives and the family relationship between the characters. 

These books are a bit rougher emotional ride as a read, but as always, I can guarantee you a happy ending in each one.


Click the Art of Love link on the top of the blog home page to find buy links for your favorite ebook retailers.

Thanks to Dara of LFD Designs for Authors for her patience and help with the awesome new covers!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dave Thome talks about Fast Lane Trilogy (Guest Author)

UPDATE October 4, 2012:  Since this interview was first posted in 2011, Dave has decided to expand the original book "Fast Lane" into the Fast Lane Romance trilogy. He has renamed the book to "Palm Springs Heat" by DC Thome. It has been climbing the romantic suspense charts. I'm looking forward to Book 2 coming out and wondering what Dave, I mean DC Thome, has in mind...

Click on the new cover to see it in the Kindle Store.

Like many other Man Writing A Romance blog fans, I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this book, the romance novel Dave has been so diligently working on and blogging about since I have known him.

Having recently read the book myself, I would dub this "romantic suspense" because I was hanging on the edge of my seat through most of it. Oh, there's a romance in the story--a really good one--but there is a lot more. I kept getting interrupted with phone calls while I was reading it and told Dave I had to call people back and apologize for being rude when I was done.

In this post, I asked Dave to talk a bit more about Lara who is the heroine in Fast Lane.

Donna: I know you were struggling with determining the optimal physical size of the ideal heroine. Did you decide if her size mattered?

Dave: I know that size can be important to women. I firmly believe it’s possible for everyone to find that someone who either doesn’t care about size--“too big” or “too small” or whatever. I guess that’s part of the romantic in me, but I see evidence of it every day. That in no way, however, diminishes the depth of feeling women have about their  bodies, height, weight, or whatever.

In this book, the size of the heroine, Lara, does matter. The central male character, Clay, is an international playboy-type whose trademark is “The Rotation,” three beautiful women who are with him 24/7. Every six months, one member of The Rotation is replaced with a new one. So Lara has to appeal to Clay on that level.

Or so she believes. Turns out, Lara’s not 100% typical of The Rotation. She’s older and less busty than previous members.

Buy from Amazon
Women’s clothing sizes have always perplexed me. I mostly know what my mom and my wife wear in terms of letters, not numbers. Plus, I’ve been told the numbers are notoriously unreliable, so that a woman who’s a 10 wears an M in one brand wears an L in another. But, as a man, I get that. Sometimes XLs are  too small and XXLs big. Or XXLs are just right on one part of the body, but too big on another.

Anyway, I had regular input from lots of women while I was writing Fast Lane--writer’s group members, people who read my Man Writing a Romance blog, my wife Mary Jo--and there is a point in the story when it becomes necessary to say Lara’s exact size. I had typed in 8 as a placeholder, but I asked all my audiences if that sounded right, or if 10 or some other size would be better. The responses were sometimes funny and always enlightening.

Some women said, “Why not 12 or 14 or 16?” I know some of those women. I believe they wear 12 or 14 or 16. One woman I know who’s very petite said, “Why not 4?” This demonstrates, I think, the complexity of the issue. Women who wear larger sizes are self-conscious about being “large,” while women who wear smaller sizes are self-conscious of being “small.” But I’ve know tall men and short men who experience similar emotions.

The third group of respondents I refer as the “story pragmatists.” Their answers were usually like, “Lara has to fit into that world, so she’d have to be an 8 or a 10, even a 6.” It was their answers that made me feel confident in making Lara a size 8.

Donna: What did walking in Lara's shoes creatively teach you?

Dave: Okay, here’s something I always knew, but didn’t really think about from day to day:  It’s  much harder in our society to be a woman than a man. I’m talking about things like clothing sizes, what clothes should be worn with which other clothes where and when, makeup, body hair, hair styles, shoes.

My wife almost never wears makeup. It was like that when we met 32 years ago, and it’s always been that way. I’m glad. I’m not convinced women who wear lots of makeup have to.

Here’s a funny story: My daughter decided when she was in college not to shave her arm pits or legs. I found myself not really caring about her legs--though I do love the way freshly shaved legs feel--but appalled by her pits. I’m not the kind of dad who would make a fuss about this--it’s her body, right? But I actually did say something, trying to be as discreet as possible and making it clear it was just my personal opinion. I realize there’s no reason for me to have this bias, but I do. (I felt okay mentioning this because my daughter was raised to be confident in herself and to stick by her guns.)

I think it again demonstrates how complicated these issues are. One time, the women in my writer’s group said they were glad they weren’t young and would therefore “have to” wax and spray tan and get nail extensions and do a bunch of other kinds of maintenance--and here I was, having experienced almost the opposite  philosophy. I guess what crowd you run with matters.

Donna: Now that you've finished your romance, what's next for you creatively?

Dave: I have a novel called Chick Flick that I wrote before this book. Like PSH, it’s funny. But unlike PSH, it’s pretty dark and puts its central characters through a truly hellish night of the soul. It also has a male protagonist, but one woman who’s read it said that for all its darkness, it’s romantic at its core. I’m having a couple people read it to see what they think.

In the meantime, I’ve written twenty screenplays, including six that have female protagonists. I’ve already started updating one, Metal Mom, which is about a woman who resumes her heavy metal singing career when her kids are in high school. It was optioned a couple times and even had Michelle Phillips signed to play the lead. It never got made, though, so I’m going to take it and a few other scripts directly to the people while I’m working on Chick Flick.

Donna: Just one more FYI about Dave, he's published his blog to a quick downloadable book that encapsulates his best posts for a year. This is also available for sale at Amazon. Click here to see the blog book. The cover on it is hysterical--I mean "amazing". Sorry Dave....You look great. Really.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Release: Death by Bourbon by Abigail Keam

Along my indie journey, I have met an interesting variety of authors writing in many genres. One of the newest authors I've met is my guest author this week and a recent addition to my local writer's group. Abigail Keam is author of the Josiah Reynolds Mysteries. The book I'm featuring today is her fourth book in the series.

You can find purchase links on Abigail's website.

Book Description

Life takes a dramatic turn for Josiah when she witnesses a death at an engagement party. Charming socialite Addison DeWitt falls into a fit after taking a sip of bourbon. That would be upsetting enough, but Josiah is sure it is murder. However, no one will believe her except for Lady Elsmere and Meriah Caldwell, the famous mystery writer. The three of them conspire to bring the murderer to justice. It turns out that the suspect is always three steps ahead of them.

To make matter worse, Josiah’s daughter, Asa, is decides to move to London, Franklin takes a powder and Jake starts singing a different tune. Josiah doubts her ability to meet the future alone. Maybe it’s time to sell the Butterfly and move to Florida with the rest of the old folks.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 "Death by Bourbon"

Doreen Doris Mayfield DeWitt tapped her tapered glossy ruby nails on the gleaming end table while watching the woman pace before her. Although she felt like swiping the woman with her claws, she remained passive, watching as her guest spewed forth countless words trying to explain her situation.

“You see, Doreen, I simply can’t go on like this. I mean . . . well, I didn’t mean to fall in love with Addison. It just happened. So I’m going to have to renege on our little agreement. It simply wouldn’t be right.”

“You mean the agreement where I paid you to seduce Addison and provide me evidence of adultery so I wouldn’t have to give him part of my fortune according to my prenuptial with him?”

Lacey Bridges batted her large blue eyes. “Well, I never asked you why you wanted me to seduce Addison.

Is that why? You want to divorce Addison? Well, that’s wonderful because I want to marry Addison. See – it works out for everyone.”

“Except for evidence of adultery or abuse, I would have to pay Addison a substantial sum of my money – my family’s money – if I initiate the divorce.”

“You could always say that he hit you.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” snapped Doreen. “No one would believe that.”

“Well, I don’t know what to say. This is a pickle for you.”

“Let’s start with the money I’ve already paid you and the video you were supposed to make for me.”

Lacey laughed. “Well, the money is gone . . . for clothes, you know. And the tapes – well, I had to destroy those, you see.”

Doreen sighed. “Do you always have to start a sentence with ‘well’?”


“Never mind.”

Lacey simpered. “It wouldn’t do to insult me, Doreen. I haven’t told Addison the truth yet, but I will . . . if you keep pushing me.”

“Afraid that he might recoil from such a gold digger as you?”

“He would forgive me but it would slow up the divorce, that’s for sure.” Lacey searched in her purse for lipstick. “Well, the way I look at it, we can all get what we want. You get rid of Addison and I get him with a little bit of money. Oh, come off it. I’m sure you can spare some

cash for Addison. Surely you want him to go out in style?” Lacey opened her compact and smeared on frosted pink lipstick. Dropping the compact and lipstick back into her purse, she stood satisfied with both her appearance and negotiation. “I’m sure we can work this out to our mutual satisfaction. All of this depends on just how badly you want to divorce Addison, doesn’t it?”

Lacey placed a card on Doreen’s antique end table. “Here’s where you can reach me. I’m sure you’ll see that I am right after thinking about it. Don’t rise, please. I’ll see myself out.” She air kissed Doreen and then pranced out of the room.

Upon hearing the front door slam shut, Doreen stared into the fireplace, losing herself to the dancing flames . . . thinking, thinking, thinking.

She’d be damned before she gave one red cent to that worthless English hustler she’d married. Absent-mindedly she fingered the heavy gold ring on her right hand until she finally felt its weight pull on her. Lifting her hand up to her face, she opened the ring’s secret compartment and smiled. Good thing she had always liked history or she never would have purchased a ring supposedly owned by Lucrezia Borgia.

Doreen laughed. “Now what would Lucrezia have done in my circumstance?”

It was very late when Doreen finally went to bed but not before she had concocted a plan. She would get rid of Addison and his obnoxious little bitch too. And no one would know that it was she who had pulled the strings of a perfect murder about to take place in the calm green rolling hills of the Bluegrass.

Kentucky is not called the dark and bloody ground for nothing.