UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2018: Kindle Worlds is no more, but DESIRE ON DEADLINE is back on ALL platforms. Read more here.
Not long ago, I received an offer I couldn’t refuse: a chance to be a launch author for Roxanne St. Claire‘s Barefoot Bay Kindle World. And today, we’re finally unveiling the cover of Desire on Deadline. Comment on Roxanne’s cover-reveal post on Facebook today to win a copy.
I’m really excited about this book (and about this cover). I’ll talk about the book, first – and then about the journey to get here.
Here’s a summary:
Ambitious reporter Roz Melander can’t return to her big-city career until she saves the struggling Florida newspaper her family founded. But rescuing the Mimosa Gazette won’t be easy with handsome nemesis Alden Knox in her way. Cynical after working in the tabloids and haunted by an old mistake, he’s starting over at the upstart Times, covering the glitterati streaming to the island’s Barefoot Bay resort.
When a fishing boat blows up in the Gulf of Mexico with a famous actor on board, both scramble to get the scoop on why. Roz is in it for the news, and Alden’s in it for the gossip — but someone will go to great lengths to stop either of them from finding out. As they chase clues, they face another obstacle: their simmering attraction. Working together against a dangerous enemy might be the only way to survive, but can they get the stories they need when what they really want is each other?
When I was invited to be among the 11 launch authors for the Barefoot Bay Kindle World, I was in the middle of writing my Bohemia Beach series and had to get out book three, Bohemia Blues, before I could really sink my teeth into Desire on Deadline. Though shorter than my Bohemia Beach books, it’s still a novel, and time was tight. Plus it’s a romantic suspense, so I had a lot of plotting to do.
I have at least two more Bohemia Beach novels planned, so the idea of writing a standalone (sort of) book in another realm gave me pause at first. I’d never really thought about writing in another person’s fictional world, even though TV writers do it all the time – but it didn’t take me long to realize that, first, it would be a great challenge; and second, I might be able to reach a whole new audience. I also had to consider Amazon’s terms – Kindle Worlds authors split their royalties with the creator of the world, and Amazon pretty much licenses your story forever. But to me, the benefits were obvious. And how could I resist an invitation to write in a fictional world I love, a world that’s just across Florida from my own fictional one, and work with a friend and writer whom I greatly respect?
Amazon’s Kindle Worlds takes fan fiction to the next level. Its goal, obviously, is to sell books, so it pushes for professionally published works. Many established authors are enjoying the adventure of writing in another writer’s world, and Amazon shows a lot of interest in making sure it’s done right. It helped shepherd the Barefoot Bay Kindle Worlds launch – which is just a few days away, on April 14 – by giving each author individual attention to make sure we understood the requirements and had what we needed to make our books happen.
Another dimension of the project that I’ve really enjoyed is getting to know the other authors in the launch: Marilyn Baxter, Mandy Baxter, EmKay Connor, Leigh Duncan, Maria Geraci, Chris Keniston, Kiersten Hallie Krum, Jeannie Moon, Jill Monroe and Fiona Roarke. We’ve colluded in a secret Facebook group, sharing challenges, technical glitches, encouragement, promotion, and frenetic animated GIFs. We discussed various degrees of branding to make our covers echo the designs in the original Barefoot Bay series, though the final assortment reflects a delightful variety in approach, unlike some KW covers. (Mine is in the vein of the Barefoot Bay Undercover books — with the intense colors of romantic suspense.) Some of us knew each other beforehand or met in person during the process, and we’ve celebrated one another’s triumphs along the way. Through it all, Roxanne St. Claire has been a great guide and friend.
If you’re an author wondering whether it’s worth it to write in someone else’s Kindle World, I can tell only part of the story. As a launch author, I’ve been privileged to work closely with a tight group of talented writers, and even without selling a single book, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If I sell any books, well, that’s just a bonus. On top of all that, I simply loved writing this story about rival reporters. It sprang from a happy mistake – at some point in her series, Roxanne St. Claire, who’d invented the Mimosa Gazette as the island’s sole newspaper, started mentioning the Mimosa Times. Well, obviously, if you think like a romance writer, two newspapers make for one great enemies-to-lovers scenario. As reporters, they talk to a lot of people, including some of the beloved characters from the original series. And I’ve drawn on my own journalism background to lend the story authenticity – while adding just enough recklessness and fun to make an entertaining read.
I hope you’ll check out all the books in the new Barefoot Bay Kindle World. Make sure you come to the kickoff party on Facebook on Thursday, April 14, for giveaways and to meet the authors.
Meanwhile, if you sign up for my newsletter before I send out the April edition on Thursday, you have a chance to win a Mystery Box filled with romance books and gifts – the winner will be chosen randomly ONLY among newsletter subscribers. And subscribers will have a shot at future giveaways, too.
And won’t you please add Desire on Deadline to your Goodreads reading list?
What’s next for me? Bohemia Heat. Look for it this summer.