Friday’s Featured Author: Melinda De Ross and her new book, Celebrity



Welcome to this week’s featured author, Melinda De Ross, who’s showcasing her newest novel, Celebrity.

Melinda is no stranger to Living the Dream, but you may not realize how our association developed.

We met online back in 2013. It’s hard to believe that was only four years ago. At the time, she and I were both publishing our first novels with Front Porch Romance, a crooked publishing house, run by a scam artist, an unscrupulous woman whose lies and thefts hurt a lot of new writers.

Some gave up writing, others, like Melinda, refused to allow her to ruin her dreams.

While Melinda and I have never met, we chat regularly and support one another’s careers. In addition to being an author, Melinda is a tremendously talented cover artist. If you would like to see some of her work, check out yesterday’s post.  Here’s a little more about her:

imagesMelinda De Ross is an international author of Romanian origin. She writes in two languages, and her books combine the elegance specific to the European style with the modern appeal of the American culture. She has a Law degree and has been a professional target shooter for over a decade. Her favorite genre to read and write in is Romance, and when she has spare time,  she prefers watching a classic movie instead of going to a noisy club.

She loves hearing from her readers, and you can find her at:

I heard someone say the other day that writing was a cutthroat business, and while it may be true for some authors, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet wonderful supportive people who’ve helped me grow as a writer, just as I hope I’ve helped them. Melinda is one of those people.  I have long admired her determination and talent.  It was my honor and privilege to assist  Melinda by editing Celebrity for her.

Celebrity Teaser


Since I literally read this book cover to cover, I can honestly say it is a book of dreams– every author’s dream, in fact. I can’t think of a single writer I know who wouldn’t be thrilled to discover her or his book was going to be made into a movie.

Here’s the book blurb:

Within twenty-four hours, Kendra Kensington’s life changes drastically. She lands a million dollar contract for her latest novel, now on the road to becoming a movie, catches her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and decides to move across the country from Chicago to California. But the City of Angels harbors more demons than she had imagined.
When she meets Blake Tyler, the famous movie star she’s secretly crushed on for years, she thinks her attempt to rebuild her life may just be on the right track. However, the past and the present seem to be conspiring against her and happiness may be harder to achieve than she thinks.

I loved the plot of this book and gave it five stars.

Every author’s dream is to have a book they’ve written become a movie, and when Kendra’s offered this opportunity, she embraces it. But uprooting yourself isn’t any easier that letting go of preconceived notions and falling in love. Great story about self-discovery. Well done, Ms. De Ross.

We all know how hard it is to pack up our troubles and our broken hearts to start over. The old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” couldn’t be more false. Broken bones heal, but words leave scars on the heart that can destroy a person much faster. As Kendra works her way through heartbreak and hurtful words, she has to find the courage to believe in her self and her ability to love. For me, this was and is a must read book.

Celebrity Cover

A word from Melinda:

Dear Reader,

They say 7 is a magic number. Since this is my 7th novel, released on November 7th, and it took 7 months to write, I tend to agree. During this time I was engrossed in the journey of my heroine, in the glamorous Hollywood life, where the general motto is “live fast, die young”.
However, few people know this book was inspired by one of my previous novels, The Diary. To me it is such a powerful book that I would love to see it turned into a movie one day, and Celebrity includes how I imagined The Diary would come to life on screen. If you enjoy this book, I hope you will also check out The Diary and find out what inspired me so much. To entice your curiosity further, I’ve included an excerpt from The Diary on the last pages of this book.


“If you enjoy Jackie Collins, you will love CELEBRITY!” – Editorial Review 

Buying links: Available as eBook and paperback everywhere books are sold online, including AmazoniTunesBarnes&NobleKoboGoogle PlaySmashwords

Until next week, CELEBRITY is 99 cents, so be sure to get your copy before then, and don’t forget to leave a review.

Celebrity is based on Melinda’s Books, The Diary.

The Diary Cover

My five star review of The Diary:

“While I’ve enjoyed all of Melinda De Ross’s books, The Diary is in a class of its own. Set against the unusual and at times eerie history of her native land, Melinda brings a legend to life, full of twists and turns to keep you reading until the wee hours. She kept me on the edge of my chair, and for me, the Blood Countess will go down in the annals of infamy. Well done.”

THE DIARY is available in eBook and paperback format everywhere books are sold online, by  AmazoniTunesKoboSmashwordsBarnes&Noble


Thursday Thrills: Out with the Old, and in with the New.

Do you like surprises?  Normally, I’m kind of reluctant about them. Sometimes, surprises can be fun, but at others, as MJ the heroine in my latest romance novel, Wedding Bell Blues, currently in a Kindle Scout Campaign,  sometimes they aren’t so nice.

WBB final coverWell this week, I got some wonderful surprises.  What are they? Covers for some of my older books. With a huge amount of help from Melinda De Ross, I have gorgeous new covers for my Christmas books and cleaned up titles for two others. You can check out her website for some of her other awesome designs.

Melinda designed the cover for Wedding Bell Blues. If you have time to nominate it, please do.

Have a look at my lovely new covers!

Sworn to Protect NEW

Captain's Promise_Ebook Cover

Holiday Magic New













Holiday Magic will be in a Kindle Countdown deal from November 20 until November 27th.

The Perfect Choice, the companion book to Holiday Magic, will be in a Kindle Countdown Deal from December 7 until December 14th. Treat yourself to great holiday reads. Love and Christmas? What could be more perfect?

The perfect choice New

Midweek Tease: Wedding Bell Blues

mwtease15Hello and welcome to this week’s Midweek tease made possible by Angelica Dawson. Here you’ll find excepts from published novels and works in progress with heat settings that run the gambit too.

This morning, my tease comes from Wedding Bell Blues. You’ve been given a peek at this while it was a work in progress. My cover was designed by Melinda De Ross. I love the From Here to Eternity vibes I get from it. WBB is currently in a Kindle Scout campaign, hoping to win a publishing contract. Please consider clicking on the link after the excerpt and nominating it.


WBB final cover

“One of these days, your impetuous behavior will be the death of you,” Carla finished.

“Fine,” she said, giving in and slamming her right palm against the steering wheel. “You’re right. I’m an idiot. I should’ve made sure the house was still available before I signed the contract with the diocese, but it’s done, and I’m out of options. It’s the motel room or a park bench.” MJ gritted her teeth, fighting not to give into the tears just below the surface.

Before long, she pulled into the motel’s crowded parking lot. The place looked better than a couple they’d passed along the way. There was a pool and a few women sat around it, wearing bikinis smaller than the band aids she wore on her blistered heels. Mercifully, Carla didn’t say anything.

More depressed than ever, MJ reversed out of the parking lot.

“Are you sure you didn’t know Paul Davis was here?” Carla asked, startling her.

Stunned, MJ stepped on the brake and turned to the woman beside her.

“Where in the world would you get an idea like that?”

“If you did, all of this would make sense,” she answered, one eyebrow cocked. “Fifteen years ago, you would’ve followed him to the ends of the Earth. Did you see him walking that horse when you came up for your interview? Is that why you’re behaving like a complete and total moron, willing to stay in a motel that probably rents rooms by the hour?”

“You can’t be serious. The man didn’t even recognize me.” Her lower lip trembled, and she fought to tamp down her disappointment.

“But you recognized him, and so did I.” Carla scrunched up her nose. “Strange that he just happened to be in your house.”

MJ turned to her, her chin jutting out in defiance, too angry and upset to respond.

Carla stared at her a few moments.

“Okay,” she said at last. “Maybe you didn’t … Neither of you could’ve faked that struck dumb look on your faces, but you would be better off with him than in that motel—gossip or no gossip. Did you see the bimbos out by the pool? If they’re cross-border shoppers, I’m a unicorn.”

“Maybe they’re sun worshippers,” she mumbled, beginning to drive again. “As far as Paul goes, the last thing I want or need is another big brother.”

“Don’t knock it. Big brothers can come in handy. I have five of them, remember? You’ll be alone here, and he looks like the right kind of person to call in a jam. Did you see those abs? While there might have been a woman in his bedroom, he did say he’s not married. It’s a small town. You’re bound to run into him, but try to be cavalier about it if you do. Whatever you do, don’t stalk him like we did as kids.”

MJ stopped for a red light and turned to face Carla, all of the pain and embarrassment of the afternoon coming back to her. “Stalk him? We did not stalk him,” she said with all of the dignity she could muster. “We followed because we wanted to do whatever he and Ron were doing. Believe me, Hell will freeze over before I call him for anything.”

Please consider adding your support. It costs nothing, and if the book is selected, you gt a free electronic copy!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of this week’s teasers!

#MidWeekTease November 8, 2017

Tuesday Tales: From the Word Prepare

Badge for TT - very smallThere are many things in life for which we aren’t prepared. The massacre in Las Vegas was one, Sunday’s senseless slaughter in a small church in Texas is another. Things like these shake our faith in the Establishment and even God. My heart breaks for all the victims of horrendous, insane crimes around the world. How can we prepare ourselves for what’s impossible to predict and understand?

Its Tuesday Tales’ time, and today’s word is PREPARE. My novel, Same Time Next Year is a book within a book. Author Dawn Williams, Twyla Wilson’s pen name, writes an autobiographical book about the summer that changed her life. Twyla has returned to the scene of the crime to do it, the resort where she fell in love and left that love behind,. Now, fifty years later, she hopes to make amends to the one she wronged and find out why he wronged her.  My own memories of 1967 will play heavily in this book, although Twyla and Michael, and all of their adventures, are completely fictional.

Today’s offering is the start of the book with the book.  Enjoy.

When I think back on that time, I can’t believe how naïve, selfish, and wrapped up in myself I was. Sheltered, the only daughter of one of Hoboken, New Jersey’s wealthiest families, I had no idea what it was like out there in the real world. I wasn’t prepared for the pain of betrayal, the agony of shame, and the heartache of loss.

I should’ve been. I should’ve cared about King and the Civil Rights Movement and the plight of black people in America, about the fear of communist expansion that made Eisenhower pledge help to South Vietnam in 1955, a pledge that eventually claimed thousands of American lives, including my brother’s, about the Student Homophile League at Columbia University, about sexual harassment, women’s rights, and feminism, and about all the other things going on around that I was oblivious to, things that mattered more than I realized they did. Like an ostrich with my head in the sand—even though those birds don’t actually do that—I was content in my own little world, looking at life through my rose-colored glasses. What a fool I was.

Like other girls with similar backgrounds, I attended a private high school where my free time was spent gossiping over the latest fashions, which diet would help me lose enough weight to look like Twiggy, and how long would it take for my hair to grow as long as Cher’s, assuming I could convince my mother to let me dye it a dark brown instead of its horrid, carrot-orange color. I’d already learned to use Mother’s steam iron and a towel to straighten it. I was actually proud of the fact I’d only burned my scalp twice.

I spent hours up in my room alone or with a few of my closest friends listening to record albums on my turntable—The Beetles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Jan and Dean, Herman’s Hermits, The Four Seasons, Neil Diamond, and too many others to mention. I would watch American Bandstand and The Monkees, mooning over Davey Jones. I’d seen every Elvis Presley movie released at least ten times. To this day, my favorite is still Blue Hawaii.

No seventeen-year-old girls back then could spend any time together without the conversation turning to boys, falling in love, and S E X. Mary-Louise Archer, our “head girl,” a term you don’t hear much today with all of the slang connotations attached to it, had found a copy of D.H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, at the thrift shop, and we took turns passing it around, reading it at night by flashlight, and hiding it during the day lest our parents should see it. Reading that book was probably the start of my fall from grace. It was my first act of defiance, but not my last. While the book expanded my base of knowledge and my vocabulary, I wasn’t a fan of the four-letter word so prevalent in it. I did find the book far more informative about things than the copy of Growing Up Mother had given me.

Of course, we discussed kissing to great length, even though my own experience in the area was limited. In a time where virginity was something to be prized, talking about French kissing, petting, and going all the way was alien to me. It wasn’t that I didn’t date. I wasn’t a wallflower by any means, although I was shy. Since Father wouldn’t hear of me “going steady” until I was twenty, my dates ended with chaste kisses at the door—some slobbery ones, some painful ones if braces were involved, but I’d yet to meet the perfect kisser, the one whose lips would make my blood boil. I’d heard the whispered rumors about girls sent away to live with relatives for a year because they’d gotten into trouble. Back then, the worst thing that could happen to a girl was an unwanted pregnancy, and Mother sang that song before every one of my dates. Strange how one boy’s touch could make me forget it all.

At night, I would go over the future I’d mapped out for myself. Father didn’t believe in working women. To him, a woman’s place was in the home, serving her lord and master. But these were the Sixties, and once I turned eighteen, I’d have hundreds of possibilities. My Bachelor of Arts degree would be in foreign languages with a minor in journalism. After graduation, I wasn’t sure which career I would finally decide on—interpreter at the United Nations, foreign correspondent, or teaching in a foreign country. Maybe I would join the Peace Corps like Mary-Louise was planning to do. The world was my oyster, the pearls mine to grab as soon as I was ready.

How can you prepare someone for the loss of all their hopes and dreams? You can’t.

My oyster began to rot in April, although, when I think about it now, the tension at home had been thick enough to cut with a machete for months before. Mother and Father argued more than ever, but when my brother Ethan, in his final year at Columbia and his friend Bill Wilson, a young lawyer he’d met on vacation in Vermont, were arrested at a protest, all hell broke loose.

Bill’s father, a powerful attorney with friends in high places, managed to get the charges dropped, insisting the men had simply been at the wrong place, at the wrong time, but the ensuing fight between Father and Ethan was terrible. At the time, I couldn’t understand what they argued about, but two days later, Ethan dropped out of university and enlisted in the army.

Father’s fury knew no bounds. To me, it had made no sense. Each night when Morley Safer came on television with his update on the Vietnam War, my father praised the boys fighting there. He himself had fought in Korea, and yet, he didn’t want my brother to follow in his footsteps. The things he said were terrible, wounding Ethan, a sensitive soul much like myself. When Bill had come to collect him to take him to the train, he’d kissed me goodbye. His eyes had filled with tears.

“Take care of yourself, Red. Don’t let him beat you down. Be who and what you are. You’ll always be my favorite sister.”

Had he known he wasn’t coming back?

Twyla stood and stretched. Outside, the sky had clouded over. In the background, the “Elusive Butterfly” by Bob Lind filled the room, the words searing her soul. How many songs had played while she’d been lost in the past?

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales.

Friday’s Featured Author: Elle Marlow

It’s my pleasure to have with me today one of my favorite Western and Native American romance authors, Elle Marlow. Her storytelling abilities are incredible and if you pick up one of her books, you’ll want another. Elle’s newest book is Walks With Him, Comanche Bride. I absolutely love this cover! Comment for your chance to win an electronic copy of this book! Be sure to leave contact information so I can reach you!

book cover wwh


Moves The Wind…is how the Comanche describe a stallion that eludes capture. It is said that the beast is both horse and spirit, running free between this world and the next. To ride this horse is the greatest desire among men—until she came into their world.

Abandoned in the wilds with sickly baby sister, Ivy wanders into the path of Comanche out on the chase. He is terrifying with his long hair and body made from the granite cliffs that surrounds them, but she needs him to save her sister’s life.

The Comanche name her Walks With Him, and her beauty has started a war from within. One man wants to enslave her, the other wants to win her heart and set her free. The price is impossible. The first brother to capture the special horse will get the woman. The real prize is who the woman gives of herself.

Her name is Walks With Him and this is her story.  

 Excerpt: He considered Ivy as he allowed his gaze to roam over her. Her concern for her sister was admirable, her skepticism of love mirrored his own. She stood before him, her hair long and loose. Her fine features and round green eyes told of a woman that was delicate on the outside but made of tougher things on the inside. It was an attractive combination.

It was inappropriate to openly stare, but he couldn’t help himself. Rio was a larger woman, and so her buckskins hung loose on Ivy, but even that did not hide the curves that laid underneath. Curves that kept him awake at night. Yamka talks of Baby Deer’s beauty, but in his eyes, Ivy was the one who was most beautiful in both looks and in strength. Even now, when she was so clearly tired from the hard work, and to this strange new life she found herself in, she carried herself tall. In her, he saw the things that mattered. his body honed into her every move as if she were something he’d spent days hunting. He’d never experienced such an awareness in another person. However, the likelihood of anything more than him being able to admire her was slim. A prize like Ivy would end up with the son of a council member or a council elder himself.

Want to read more? Get your copy today!

Author Bio:

ElleThank you, for hosting me on your blog today. I am very excited to introduce to you my latest historical Native romance, Walks With Him-Comanche Bride.

About Me: Hello! My name is Elle Marlow and I am a proud born and raised Arizona girl. I feel blessed to live in the southwest where I get to enjoy the beautiful Sonoran Desert, ghost towns, horses and most importantly, cowboys!

I have a wonderful husband and so many kids that the old lady in the shoe has nothing on me. I love to write about the west and it gives me a darn good excuse to get out and explore.

You can find me and stay updated at

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And So It Begins: Wedding Bell Blues Kindle Scout Campaign

WBB final cover

As the idiom goes, third time’s the charm, and I’m hoping that proves to be true as I make another attempt to win an Amazon publishing contract. This time, I’m trying something a little different from my usual suspense/romance books. Wedding Bell Blues has it all–romance, humor, magic, mystery, mermaids, cursed Inca treasure, and last but not least, an unexpected wedding.

Here’s the blurb:

MJ’s having a bad year. She’s canceled her wedding, but refuses to give up the honeymoon. When she arrives on Paradise Island, she discovers her ex has changed the reservation. Stranded, she has to rely on her first love, a man who sees her as his kid sister, for help. When Paul discovers the man behind her plight is the bully who made his own teen years hell, he gets MJ to agreed to pretend to be his fiancee. Add in mermaids, treasure hunters, and Quimbois magic, and anything can happen.

Please consider supporting Wedding Bell Blues

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE TWO POSTS TODAY The Midweek tease comes after this one. 

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Welcome to November’s IWSG blog hop. This month’s question deals with NaNo

November 1 question – Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I have participated in three NaNo writing sessions and I’m pleased to say I completed each challenge. My first time was Nano boot camp and the book I wrote was In Plain Sight which was published by Crimson Romance.  In Plain Sight cover.jpgThe second time I wrote Echoes of the Past which was first published by Secret Cravings, EchoesEbookFinalbut when they closed, I indie published it. MY third effort, originally titled, Yours, Mine and Ours, was completed, but I didn’t like it, so I rewrote it and re-titled it, Wedding Bell Blues.  It will be a Kindle Scout campaign item starting November 2.

WBB final coverThis year, I’m using Nano to complete a sci-fi novel I began as a serial. Finding Eloisia is about the last three hundred humans trying to find a home after Earth was destroyed.

One of the main advantages to NaNo for me, is the  need to get a set amount of work done each day to achieve my goal. A disadvantage id that, since I edit as I write, I have to put that aside for the month. Let’s hope I have the drive and the stamina to finish this year, too.

Why not take time now to check out other posts?