Good morning! It’s a foggy Saturday here in Cornwall. Today the temperature is supposed to rise to 60 degrees F, and tonight we’ll have our Santa Claus parade. Two of my grandchildren will be in the parade instead of watching it, and that will be a first. They grow up so fast, it’s scary. One minute they’re newborn infants dependent on you for everything. The next thing you know, they’re all grown up.
That’s the way I feel about every book I write. They start as a jumble of ideas and slowly grow into viable plots, eventually emerging as complete novels. Since I started writing in November 2012, I’ve given birth to 16 novels, 2 novellas, 3 short stories and 3 episodes of a sci-fi story I intend to finish in 2017. Currently, I’m working on 4 novels–all at various stages of completion–which should be finished and available in 2017.
This morning, I want to talk a little about my latest book, Desert Deception, now available from any Amazon store. It’s the longest novel I’ve written to date, surpassing the 155,000 word mark, or 392 pages long if you will. It’s enrolled in KDP, so if you are part of that you can download and read it for free.
Unlike the other 15 novels I’ve written, Desert Deception was a test-tube baby. The idea for the story started in a writing partnership with Misty Cail. Together, we wrote a novella, Grand Slam, and a novel, Coming Home, Book One of Taking a Chance on Love. Unfortunately, our writing partnership came to an end when our publisher was forced to close its doors. Misty and I divided the works between us and I got all the rights to Coming Home.
That book was a contemporary romance that hinted at things to come in future books. Once it was mine again, I had a few constraints to work with. For one, the other romances, which would’ve been books in the series including the one we started when the partnership dissolved, weren’t mine to use–at least not as they’d been written, but as far as the other plot parts, I was able to run with them. I didn’t feel right simply doing a few edits, removing the elements I couldn’t use , adding a couple of things and releasing it. Instead, I decided to rewrite the novel and make it truly mine alone.Considering it was supposed to be a five book series. culminating with the suspense elements in the plot, I didn’t have an easy task ahead of me.
To that end, I took my petri dish full of words, extracted those I wanted to keep, scenes I’d created or revised originally, and put them in a new test-tube where they changed again, multiplied, and grew. Names, locations and a number of other things changed. What I kept was the heroine’s occupation since it fit my revised plot well, as well as the hero’s secret identity as an author. I added family conflict, details about why Casey as she was now called fled Fortune, and all of the elements that made up the suspense part of the book.
The pregnancy for this book was longer and more difficult that any of the others I’d written. Rewriting a book is harder than writing it the first time, believe me. It’s taken me four long months to complete it, and several restarts as my internal editor went nuts. I tried to keep the book to 100,000 words, but I had too much information. When I shared that with my son, he said, “Mom, write the book you want to write, not the one you think you need to write.” And so I took his advice. I went back into the story and dropped my clues, tossed in my red herrings and all the twists and turns I usually put into a story. I will admit I was torn between what to keep, what to toss, so much so that I kept second-guessing myself. During the course of writing this book, I wrote thousands of words I eventually deleted. After tortuous hours of labor, I hit on what I hope is the right combination.
Desert Deception is a romance suspense, based in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. Fires are burning, people are dying, kids are being framed, but why? Is it all about a mysterious gold mine surrounded by legend, or is there more at play. What you see isn’t always what you think it is. Everyone has secrets, including the desert. Cassandra Stevens returns to Fortune, but what she finds in her hometown isn’t what she expected.
Here’s the blurb:
Seeing is believing, or is it?
When high-powered Santa Fe attorney Casey Stevens reluctantly returns to Fortune for Gold Rush Days, she is drawn to Cole Walker Junior, but he is no longer the shy, quiet boy she recalls. Then again, Cole isn’t the only one who has changed. The town may be celebrating its past, but someone is trying to destroy its future. A hit and run accident leaves Fortune’s only lawyer in a coma, forcing Casey to choose between helping innocent people and running away once more. Can she face the demons of her past or will they destroy her this time?
Cole Warner has a secret identity, one he’s determined to protect at all costs. The police officer, volunteer firefighter, and part-time store owner, is also popular western novelist, CJ Coleson, who uses Fortune and its people as the inspiration for his books. Having Casey walk into his life turns it upside down. When someone starts using the murders in Cole’s books to stage a killing spree of their own, keeping his secret may be too costly, but admitting the truth could ruin any chance they have for a happily ever after.
As the bodies pile up and the buildings burn down, Casey and Cole have to work together to stop a madman with gold fever before more people die. The answer lies on Superstition Mountain or is it all a desert deception?
Desert Deception is available from any Amazon store.
Not sure if it’s for you? Amazon lets you read the first three chapters in the sample! Just click on the link and enjoy!