Once again, my good friend Rob Resetar has helped me create an amazing new book trailer. This time for my most recent contemporary romance novel, The Letter,and his original musical score is his best one so far. Seelie Studios assisted with the casting, and I’m very pleased this video. I hope you’re as excited about it as I am. So please, enjoy The Letter book trailer.
I like to include major holidays in my contemporary romance novels. In The Letter, lead character Stephanie spends a bittersweet Easter with her new boss and his husband while Danny finally realizes the time has come for him to make some changes.
An Easter excerpt from, The Letter
By the time Easter arrived the winter snow had melted away and the trees were starting to bloom. Stephanie pulled up in front of a large, single-story house with a huge cottonwood tree in the front yard. She shut down the engine and grabbed her bottle of wine. Walking up to the front door, she heard a dog barking inside. A bald man with a dark brown goatee opened the door and greeted her with a smile.
Sometimes I’ll have one idea in mind for a character, but as I get into the story, the character has other ideas. Such was the case with Jeremy Palmer in The Reunion, and it happened again with Josh Ramsey in my more recent contemporary romance novel, The Letter.
Young and ambitious, Josh is a financial planner by day, an artist by night. His goal is to retire young and devote himself full-time to his art. Like Jeremy, Josh was meant to an antagonist, but as the character came to life he turned out to be quite charming. I soon realized he had the potential to go much farther than originally planned. That’s when I really started liking him. So I created an aura of mystery about him. Whose side is he really on? Is he friend or foe? He’s actually a little of both, and his true intentions are revealed in an ending far different than what I had originally planned. This is what makes writing fun. Those characters, and storylines, that don’t come out as planned. They come out much, much better.
Now, just so you know, Josh is a purely fictitious character and not inspired by anyone I’ve known in real life.
Along with Hollywood, my next contemporary romance novel, The Scandal, is also set in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I lived in Denver in the late 1990s, and Colorado truly is a beautiful state. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t left. However, circumstances were such at the time that I had no choice. Must be why I’ve used Colorado as a location in three of my other contemporary romance novels. The Reunion is set in Denver and Steamboat Springs. The Journey takes place in multiple locations, including Denver and Steamboat Springs, while The Letter is set in Denver.
Like Telluride and Durango, Steamboat Springs is an old ranching and mining town that’s become a popular tourist destination. It’s about a four hour drive from Denver, which makes it the perfect literary location as it’s easy for my characters to travel back and forth from Denver to Steamboat Springs. It also has a cool sounding name. No doubt I’ll use Colorado as a location in future contemporary romance novels. It’s a way for me to go back and visit one of the most beautiful and scenic places in the country.
My newest romance novel, The Letter, is now available on Amazon and on Barnes&Noble.com.
The Letter is the story of a man hounded by a former girlfriend. She’s unable to accept that their relationship has ended and she refuses to let go. While not as dark of a story as The Stalker, readers will enjoy its many twists as turns. The Letter is a tale of misunderstandings and miscommunications. It’s also about people who aren’t as they appear to be.
Please enjoy the sample chapter I’ve posted below.
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Vanessa sighed in relief as she brushed a stray lock of short blonde hair away from her eyes and rang the doorbell. The door slowly opened, revealing a sullen looking Stephanie on the other side.
“Sorry I’m late.” Vanessa struggled to keep the frustration in her voice down. “I found the visitor’s parking lot, but the numbering system here is so bizarre. I’ve been all over the complex and back trying to find the right building.”
“It’s okay.” Stephanie motioned for her come inside, and as she crossed the threshold Vanessa took in her surroundings.
“Nice condo. I’d say Danny has good taste.”
“I suppose.”Vanessa’s brow furrowed. “Are you okay? You seem upset about something.”
My latest romance novel, The Letter, differs from my others. This time I didn’t kill any of the characters. Not one. Which is a first for me. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not a sociopathic serial killer. At least not in the real world. But as a novel writer, I have to create conflict and drama in my stories to keep them interesting, and when it comes to creating drama, death is about as good as it gets.
Most of the time, the dearly departed is a notorious villain with whom karma has finally caught up with. Big time. In four of my novels a bad guy, or gal, got what was coming to them. The one exception was The Journey, where I had to kill a supporting character who I truly liked. So much so that I tried writing alternate scenes in which she didn’t die, but they just didn’t work as well. Killing this character off heightened the drama, which made the story more intense and a more interesting read. Nevertheless, having to write this character out made me feel genuinely sad.
There was one character in The Letter I thought of killing off. Like most of my “victims,” she was a despicable antagonist. However, unlike the others, this character also had a young child, and I simply couldn’t bring myself to create an orphan. So, this time, instead of an untimely if not painful death, it’s a terrifying near death experience. Surely you didn’t think I’d let a villain get away scot-free, did you?
To read a free preview of The Letter, please click here.
My illustrator, Wes Lowe, has once again created a brilliant cover illustration for my upcoming contemporary romance novel, The Letter.
The Letter begins with lead character Stephanie’s accidental discovery of a love letter to Danny, her significant other, from his old girlfriend. Hurt and confused, Stephanie is unsure of what to do. A close friend advises her to talk to Danny, but she hesitates. After thinking it over, Stephanie assumes that his ex was simply feeling lonely and has since moved on. Unfortunately for her, things are not as they appear.
Life has been hectic, crazy, strange and over the top. Whenever that happens manuscripts inevitably get pushed to the side, but by golly, I finally got it done. My next novel, The Letter, has gone to the editor, just in time to be stalled in her inbox as she gets ready to move across the country. Sometimes you have to either laugh or cry. But it also gives me a grace period in case I get a middle of the night inspiration for a last-minute change.
Like my previous novels, The Letter has plenty of plot twists as the characters deal with unexpected challenges. However, leading man Danny is more fallible than some of his predecessors. He’s haunted by issues from his past that he can’t seem to exorcise, while leading lady Stephanie is a woman with backbone who calls it as she sees it. However, she sometimes does so without considering the long-term consequences.
Look for characters from my other novels to make an appearance. Jesse St. Claire from The Betrayalmakes a cameo, while Paul, a supporting character from The Reunion, also has a significant role.
I’m busy working on my upcoming novel, The Letter, and, as with my other novels, I’m having a great time getting to know this cast of characters. The Letter is a story of things not being as they appear.
Stephanie and Danny, the two lead characters, are in a happy relationship. This is, until Stephanie accidentally uncovers a love letter from Martha, a woman from Danny’s past. As the story continues, she’ll discover even more compelling evidence. Convinced that Danny has been cheating on her, she abruptly ends their relationship. Later on, with the start of a new job, she meets Josh. Unfortunately, Josh isn’t who he appears to be.
The Letter is turning out to be more of a classic romance. It’s much like The Reunion. Both stories are set in Denver. And look for Paul, one of the featured characters in The Reunion, to have a supporting role in The Letter.
The Letter is inspired by a real-life event which happened to a good friend. She too accidentally came across a letter to her fiancé from his old girlfriend. The former girlfriend desperately wanted him back, but she eventually moved on. And, I’m happy to say, my friend and her fiancé have been happily married for many years.
The challenge for me as a writer was the fact that this all happened before email, text messaging and social media, so the story would have to be adapted to 21st century technology.
Look for The Letter to be available in early 2018. MM
One of my cousins used to be a soap opera actress. She once told me how she experienced her characters’ emotions as she portrayed them. She said performing emotionally charged scenes often left her feeling drained.
The same is true for me as a novel writer. With nearly every character I create, I experience their emotions as I write. Writing the dialog is what drives those emotions.
I’m currently working on my next contemporary romance novel, The Letter. Leading man Danny has a serious problem. Martha, a woman from his past, refuses to let him go. I’ve been building up to a major confrontation between the two for sometime. This past week I finally wrote the chapter where their conflict reaches its crescendo. I expected this scene to be fun to write. Martha has caused Danny a great deal of grief, so I wanted him to feel vindicated. However, as I wrote the dialog, I started feeling emotions I didn’t expect to feel.
Danny begins the conversation in a civil tone, telling Martha he wants no further contact, but an obsessed Martha refuses to listen. As the scene plays out, Danny becomes more and more frustrated. His tone becomes more harsh as he tries to get through to her. As his words became more harsh, I started feeling anxious myself. Harsh words, even when justified, can hurt like a fist. Some of the verbiage brought back bad memories of arguments I’ve had in my own past. By the time I finished writing the scene I felt as if I’d been sucker punched.
I planned on writing Martha out of the story after this scene, but now I think I’ll keep her around. She has a real knack for pissing people off, and talent like hers shouldn’t go to waste. While another antagonist will be the main focus for the remainder of the story, Martha will seek revenge on those who she thinks turned Danny against her.
The Letter should be available by the spring of 2018.