Writing Let the Good Times Roll was a challenge, and not just because I transformed Chloe from antagonist (in Eye of the Tiger) to main character I spent every moment longing for Cajun food, and for New Orleans.
(Well, I wrote part of it while visiting New Orleans, so I wasn't longing for much then. Except for more hours to explore and eat and walk and talk and eat and eat and eat. Lucky me!)
As I do for all of my books, I created a Pinterest page full of the images that inspired me for this novella. Before you check it out, a warning: you will long to visit New Orleans for yourself! (As an alternative, read Let the Good Times Roll!)
Feel so so sorry for me. I'm recently returned from New Orleans.
I had to go. It was research.
(It was also so I could chaperone my son's field trip, but don't tell his band director that was my primary motivation.)
You remember Evan's mean sister Chloe from Eye of the Tiger? You didn't think she deserved her happily ever after, did you? Well, I am more forgiving than you. (I am probably not more forgiving than you.) (I admit that writing her comeuppance was fun, and not just because it gave me an excuse to visit New Orleans.)
Let the Good Times Roll will be available very soon! Subscribe to my newsletter and you can be the first to know when it's published.
Roll of the Dice, Book 3 - Natalie's story is now available for pre-order!
Order now, and TIGER will leap onto your e-reader on 2/29 (#FunFact: 2-29 is Bachelor Day. This doesn't bode well for Natalie's matchmaking mom!)
Warning: contains several silly, lewd limericks. (Evan is a charming, light-hearted man--or is he?)
I'm excited for y'all to read where Natalie's roll of the dice is taking her, whether she's ready for it or not.
Happy New Year! I'm so excited by the crazy amount of work I've lined up for this year.
First up, the latest ROLL OF THE DICE novel, EYE OF THE TIGER! I'll go on about Natalie and Evan's story at greater length once I've recovered from the virus-that-doesn't-want-me-to-work, but for now I'm excited to share the gorgeous cover (designed, as always, by the talented Killion Group.)
The other novels and novellas on the cards for this year are going to be such fun to work on...so long as I don't get too obsessed by my new favorite distraction, Instagram. Come follow me! You'll surely never tire of well-filtered shots of my gorgeous dog.
I hope your plans for 2016 are energizing enough to keep your spirits up even if you, too, have the virus-that-thinks-you-should-sleep-lots-more-and-forget-words-halfway-through-saying-them.
I was excited this morning to find the narrator of my Roll of the Dice audiobooks, Amy Rubinate, interviewed at the fabulous romance audio site, Audiogals.
Head over there to find out more about Amy and her intriguing new audiobook production company. There are giveaways for free audios, too!
You can hear samples of Amy's narration of Rocket Man and Ready to Roll on those titles' pages here. And buy them at Audible.
PS - Retreat to Love will be available in audio someday, too! I haven't started that process yet.
You, dedicated readers of melaniegreene.com, will have noticed my new Signings page. That's because I'm booking author events now!
I'm diving into the deep end by attending the Houston Authors Bash this Saturday 2/28 - yikes! That's tomorrow! There will be over a hundred area authors and hundreds of awesome readers, and I can't wait.
Because I'm getting organized in what can politely be called "a bit of a rush" I'm not going to have time to get nervous. Or that's the theory anyway. I'm excited to mingle with other authors from my city, especially the ones I already know from West Houston RWA (I'm shy at heart, so it's always a comfort to know there will be familiar faces in the large crowd!) (Also, they're great writers and fun to visit with!)
See you soon!
I have such delightful friends!
There's a group of us who went to middle & high school together & they've been listening to me talk about writing for... let's guess no more than 3 decades? So I'm sure in their eyes the publication of ROCKET MAN has been a really long time coming!
Anyway, we try to get together monthly, and today was brunch. One friend has created a tradition for us of passing around this superb Milestone Trophy. It reads:
And today, in recognition of the milestone of my debut publication, it was awarded to me!
Obviously, I've got it sitting proudly on top of the roll top desk in my study, where it shines on me as I sit to write.
It's particularly apt, as I'm currently finishing up READY TO ROLL, which is the novella featuring Janice and Miguel from ROCKET MAN. Why is a dance trophy particularly apt for that novella, you ask? Well, you'll just have to wait slightly less than a month, then you'll find out.
(Is it unfriendly of me to hope none of my friends have milestones soon, so I get to keep it a while?) (Is it really really unfriendly of me to hope that, considering one of them is planning her wedding?) (...it's okay. I know the answer.)
As I'm sure you can imagine, one of the delightful parts of creating a character like Serena who is obsessed with getting a home of her own that she can decorate just the way she likes, is getting lost online looking at decorating photos and imagining exactly what Serena's dream home will look like. I get to do all the planning and none of the painting! Win-win!
While the photos I pinned for Serena's house aren't exactly what she created as her haven, they definitely hit the mark. And for a little contrast, I included Dillon's only home decor items of note. :) Well, I guess I could add a pic of a bookcase overflowing with second-hand sci-fi novels, but I think his posters convey the gist of his decorating priorities.
He totally loves those posters.
Hmm, I wonder what Serena would do with them in her perfectly decorated home? In the bedroom because at least they match the color scheme? Or would she reframe them in antique gilt frames and hang them in the dining room? Perhaps persuade him they'd look great in his office?
(True confessions time: that 'these would be great at your work' ploy worked for me / my beloved's prized prints!)
This is one of the first scenes I wrote from Dillon's point of view, back when ROCKET MAN was named ... well, it went through a few titles, I'll be honest. Whatever it was called, I've always loved this scene. It's a little too far in the book for the retailer previews, so I thought I'd share it with you here. Enjoy!
Aggrieved, Dillon kicked his townhouse’s front door closed and scooped up the calico kitten making a beeline for the exit. “No, you don’t,” he warned it, before slinging it over his shoulder and heading into the kitchen for a cold beer. “I’m having more than enough trouble with females today; I don’t need you adding to the mix.” Setting Maisy down on the sofa and taking a long pull, he finally sighed. “Okay, okay, so it’s not your fault. And I can hardly blame Anica, she’s right about the tear sheets.” Maisy reached a paw up to bat at his fingers, unfazed by his suddenly morose tone. “But what the hell is going on with Serena?”
It just didn’t make sense. Serena was one of the most straightforward people he knew. Even before he’d started at Lanigan, she’d shown herself to be honest about everything — from work issues to the interpersonal. But lately he couldn’t get a read on her at all. She was her usual vibrant self half the time, backing away from him the other half. It just didn’t add up.
“Is it me?” he asked the kitten, who blinked and looked away. “I just … I kinda thought things were ….” He took another pull on the beer, then had to laugh. He couldn’t even articulate his feelings to his sister’s cat. No wonder Serena was acting strangely. He was probably feeding her all kinds of assbackwards signals himself, and she didn’t know how to react.
How did he feel, though? He shed his jacket, which Maisy promptly started kneading and purring upon, and headed back to the kitchen to throw together some sort of dinner. “Pasta night,” he called to the kitten, which ignored him. “Did I talk to myself before you showed up?” he asked it. “I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut at home anymore. But as long as you’re listening, check it out, ‘kay? Here I’ve known Serena for weeks. And don’t get me wrong, I noticed her right off, you know? Second I walked into the interview, as a matter of fact. But I always thought you’ve got to keep that stuff out of the office.” He bit into a carrot and glanced back at Maisy, who was now asleep. “Fine. Ignore me.”
He had kept it out of the office, and over time had stopped — okay, practically stopped — looking for Serena as soon as he got to work. Stopped cataloguing the many enticing ways she wore her hair, stopped half-memorizing her schedule, stopped asking her out. Almost stopped, anyway. And they worked closely together; he couldn’t go more than a few hours without having to at least shoot an email to Serena, if not engage in some more substantial contact.
Substantial contact. Face it, that was what he wanted.
He liked working with Serena, and valued their friendship, but he just wasn’t satisfied with it. He wanted to be able to touch her. He needed to be able to touch her. To draw his fingers through the length of her hair then trail them down the slope of her breasts. To smooth his palm down her spine then spread it over her ass. To draw her body close to his as he tasted the creamy skin of her throat. To press his thigh between her yielding legs. His cock. To have her touch his throbbing cock. To have her grasp the base of his cock while his mouth closed over the tight peak of her nipple. To ….
“Ow, fuck!” he cried as the fucking pasta boiled over. Maisy jumped up onto the table and mewled at him. “Not funny, cat. Just. Not. Funny.” Trying to adjust himself back into some sort of composure, he drained the penne, stirred in a Bolognese he’d nuked, and scooped some into Maisy’s bowl before throwing himself against the back of the sofa. Cuing up an old-school Star Trek episode off his DVR, he deliberately banished every thought of Serena, and her breasts, from his mind.
Writing is a journey undertaken by the mind in conjunction with the soul....