Welcome to 2020!

It’s a brand new year! What will you do in 2020? What will you change? What will you accomplish?

I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions but I’ll take any opportunity to review and revise. The start of a new year is a good time to do that. First, let’s take a look at things I learned in 2019.

Bad Case of Loving You, book #6 in the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah CookeAccomplished in 2019
• I published four new books last year: Bad Case of Loving You, Under the Mistletoe, Maeve’s Book of Beasts and Dragon’s Kiss.

• I also published revisions of three titles: One Knight’s Return, Unicorn Bride and Pearl Beyond Price.

• I published four new Dragonfire boxed sets: Dragonfire Quest, Dragonfire Elixir, Dragonfire Reunion and Dragonfire Triumph.

Under the Mistletoe, a contemporary Christmas romance and #4 in the Secret Heart Ink series by Deborah Cooke• I started to initiate translations of my historical romances and published my first two Italian translations. (You can find Claire’s translations here.)

• I attended two conferences, a reader conference (Romancing the Capital) and a writers’ conference (Romance Mastermind). I taught a workshop at RTC.

Lessons from 2019:
Unicorn Bride, a medieval romance by Claire Delacroix, 2019 new edition• A year ago, I was wondering where my days were going. It seemed that I didn’t have much time to write, even though I planned to do so every morning and spent all day at my desk. So, I started a spreadsheet, documenting exactly what I did every day and how long it took. The answer became clear very quickly: I knew that being my own publisher took time, but those publishing jobs were taking a lot more time than I’d realized. Part of this was because I’ve republished a lot of older books in the last couple of years. I’ve been streamlining my publishing processes, experimenting with timing – either a publishing day per week or a few publishing afternoons in a row seems to work well.

Dragonfire Quest, volume one of the Complete Dragonfire Novels digital bundles including Kiss of Fire, Kiss of Fury and Kiss of Fate from the Dragonfire novels series of paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke• I experimented again with KDP Select and was underwhelmed again by results. Switching between wide distribution and exclusive-to-Amazon distribution is a lot of work, so I’m sticking with wide distribution for the foreseeable future. I may write some projects specifically for KDP Select, but we’ll see.

• Recognizing that my focus had shifted from writing to publishing, I started a creativity journal last winter. I bought a planner and a lot of stickers, then tracked and celebrated how much I wrote each day. Having it open on my desk helped me to write first, then turn to the other jobs after the writing was done. I really like the stickers, which is silly but it’s effective. I wrote 700K words last year, which is really a lot for me. I’ve already set up my new journal for 2020. (And it has stickers in it already!)

One Knight's Return, book #2 of the Sayerne series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix• Those are pretty big take-aways from 2019, but there was another big one. A year ago, I thought I could republish some older Claire Delacroix titles easily. I knew I had a full schedule with launching DragonFate, plus finishing up Flatiron Five and Secret Heart Ink, and didn’t want Claire’s readers to be neglected. I chose three books that had been published by Harlequin, blocked in a week to proofread the scanned book files, and scheduled them for publication. That plan had worked well for the Bride Quest and Dragonfire. It didn’t work for these books. They needed revisions to the point that it would have been easier to just write new books. Those revisions added a ton of stress to my year, because I miscalculated and hadn’t left enough time for them. There isn’t a lot of upside to doing these revisions either – while it’s nice to have the books available again, they aren’t the stories I’d write now and they don’t have a huge following. My time really would be better spent writing new books. At this point, four of Claire’s eleven Harlequin Historicals have been revised and republished in new editions, and there won’t be more in the foreseeable future.

Pearl Beyond Price, book two of the Unicorn Trilogy of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix• Another milestone from 2019 was initiating translations of my books. My Italian translator and I are making good progress on the Jewels of KinfairlieThe Beauty Bride is available and The Rose Red Bride is publishing, while she is translating The Snow White Bride. I’m waiting on the Portuguese (Brazil) translation of The Beauty Bride and will have the German translation this winter. It’s been a very interesting process, with lots to learn, and many new connections to make.

The Year Ahead
Dragon's Kiss, book two of the DragonFate novels, a series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeFor the past year or so, I’ve been aware that I’m coming to the end of existing series for each of my author brands. Last year, I launched DragonFate for my Cooke paranormals, and I’m really pleased with Dragon’s Kiss. I’m having fun with that series and looking forward to its continuation. I’m in a similar place with my contemporary romances – Secret Heart Ink is done and after Some Like it Hot, Flatiron Five will be done. (Maybe. I’m not sure where Nate’s story fits yet. It might be a novella at the end of the series.) And Claire needs a new series, too. So, I’ve been planning and dreaming. The hardest part is always deciding between competing ideas.

Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion by Deborah CookeRight now, these titles are scheduled for publication in 2020:
Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion – January
Flatiron Five: The First Collection – January
Some Like it Hot – February
All’s Fair in Love and War – March
Dragon’s Heart – May
Dragon’s Mate – October

That’s about 300K of new words right there.

Some Like It Hot, book #7 in the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah CookeI really want to get ahead of the publishing cycle this year, and get back to having books done and uploaded at least a month or two before their publication dates. I also want to publish linked books more closely together. That means the calendar is going to look empty for a bit as I write and work to get ahead of the curve. (You can see that gap in the schedule above.) The plan is that by the time you see the cover reveal and the pre-order, the book will be complete.

I’ll be filling some of those inevitable gaps with boxed sets. The new Flatiron Five bundle Flatiron Five: The First Collection comes out this month, at a special price. Claire has a new boxed set, All’s Fair in Love and War, coming in March and there will be other trope-based bundles. I’m hoping to write and publish some shorter works, too, to keep you reading while I write away.

Dragon's Heart, book three of the DragonFate Novels, a series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeI’m also revising my schedule to keep my focus squarely on writing. I’m not teaching anymore or making treks to writing group meetings. I attended two conferences last year and while they were great, this year, I’m staying home to write.

This year, it’s all about the words—and the self-care. A year and a half ago, I started walking 4 km every day and that’s become a habit. I really miss it if I skip a day. I’ve added yoga at least three times a week, too. I’m still not very good at it, but it does make me feel better. 🙂 I’ve cut back on social media commitments, too.

Of course, there’s still knitting and crafting. I’ll show you a new sweater tomorrow on Fiber Friday.

I hope you have exciting plans for 2020. Let’s make it a great year!

Dragon’s Kiss and Under the Mistletoe Pre-Orders

We have pre-orders!

Under the Mistletoe is the fourth and final book in the Secret Heart Ink series.

Under the Mistletoe, a contemporary Christmas romance and #4 in the Secret Heart Ink series by Deborah CookeAlthough Chynna is a complete romantic, she avoids weddings because they renew the pain of losing her beloved husband. So does Christmas, so an invitation to Lexi and Gabe’s holiday wedding should be easy to decline. All the same, she’s tempted to see three recipients of her secret heart tattoos happily in love, and with some encouragement, agrees to attend. A hook-up with Trevor, Gabe’s handsome partner, seems like the ideal way to settle her nerves—but Trevor wants a lot more than one night with the most attractive woman he’s ever met. Chynna is the woman he’s been waiting for—all he has to do is convince her to take a chance on love again, with him.

Coming September 24!

Pre-order ebook at:
Amazon.com
Apple
KOBO
Nook
Books2Read Universal Link

Dragon's Kiss, book #2 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke

Dragon shifter and Pyr warrior Kristofer follows the spark of his firestorm into Maeve’s dark realm, only to discover that it’s an illusion and a trap, not his firestorm at all. The fake mate who lures him into Fae is another species threatened by Maeve – Brianna is a Valkyrie, whose sister has been imprisoned by the dark queen. Brianna has to collect a Pyr soul to save her sister, but Kristofer doesn’t intend to die just yet. Trapped by Maeve, Kristofer and Brianna reluctantly join forces to save her sister—even when they discover that their skills are complementary, they know that there can be no future between a mortal Pyr and an immortal collector of souls. How much will either surrender to triumph over Maeve? And what will they do when the firestorm sparks in truth?

Coming October 22, 2019

Pre-order ebook at:
Amazon.com
Apple
KOBO
Nook
• GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link

DragonFate Covers

Maeve's Book of Beasts, book 1 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeThe DragonFate series features the Pyr‘s battle against Maeve, the dark Fae queen who wants to exterminate all species she considers unnatural (because they are half human). We met Maeve in Firestorm Forever and glimpsed her souvenir gallery of species she had already eliminated. In this series, she targets the Pyr and other species in the world – and the Pyr come to the defense of shifters like themselves, led by the spark of the firestorm. What I like about this series is that there are lots of paranormal creatures in the cast, as well as some humans and an opinionated ghost.

Dragon's Kiss, book #2 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeWhat I like about this series is that the heroines will also have special powers of their own, and this is going to complicate matters with their dragon shifter heroes and destined mates. We’ll see an over-arching romance between Melusine and Theo, one that is complicated both by her special powers and the persistent ghost of her dead husband, Raymond. There will also be another over-arching romance between a very human librarian and a hot vampire who is part of the team battling Maeve. We’ll also explore the origins of the Pyr. This is a big canvas and I’m excited about all my plans and possibilities.

Dragon's Heart, book 3 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeMy original scheme was for DragonFate to be four books. The working titles were Hot-Blooded, Spell-Bound, Star-Crossed and Dusted, but I’ve since learned it would be better for discoverability if the titles to include the word Dragon. Donna Grant has also published a dragon shifter book called Hot-Blooded (as well as one called Dragonfire) in the interim, so it’s better to avoid confusion.

I’ve gone with Dragon’s Kiss, Dragon’s Heart and Dragon’s Mate for the first three books. The pre-quel is called Maeve’s Book of Beasts and will launch in August. Dragon’s Kiss will be published in October, followed by Dragon’s Heart in January and Dragon’s Mate in April.

Dragon's Mate, book 4 of the DragonFate series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeOne of the things I really like about these covers is that the artist used the colours of each Pyr in his dragon form on his book cover. Kristofer (Dragon’s Kiss) is peridot and silver in his dragon form, and has blond hair and blue eyes in his human form. Rhys (Dragon’s Heart) is garnet and silver in his dragon form, and has dark hair and dark eyes in his human form. Hadrian (Dragon’s Mate) is emerald and silver in his dragon form, and has auburn hair and green eyes in his human form.

Another thing I noticed later which I think is funny – the model chosen by the artist for Rhys on Dragon’s Heart is the same model I chose for Some Like It Hot in the Flatiron Five series. He looks a bit different with his shirt off and a dragon tattoo. I think it’s also possible that the model on Dragon’s Mate is the same one used on Some Guys Have All the Luck, but am not positive about that. This is why so many covers show the models without their faces, but I like to see their eyes.

Pre-order links are populating now and will be added to the landing pages for each book as they go live.

This series lives on the Dragonfire website, since it’s set in the same world. You can find it here.

What do you think?

More Links for Snowbound and Print, too!

Snowbound, #1 of the Secret Heart Ink series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

Flatiron Five has a new tattoo shop—run by the enigmatic and legendary tattoo artist Chynna. When the moon is full, Chynna creates one tattoo to set two hearts afire and gives it away, with the goal of making romantic dreams come true. Who will be next?

Olivia trusts here-and-now…
Olivia doesn’t believe in magic or everlasting love—she’s a scientist, after all—but winning a tattoo from Chynna convinces her to take a chance. She’s always admired her best friend Lexi’s big brother Spencer, maybe because opposites attract. What would it be like to seduce him? Would it end her fascination with him? With a little help from her friends and a blindfold, Liv decides to find out. The bonus is that Spencer will never know his secret lover was her…

Spencer believes in forever…
But Spencer guesses the truth almost right away. He’s good with having Olivia want him—having her alone in his cabin is the perfect chance to teach her to trust sensation and him. A blizzard interferes with Olivia’s plan, giving Spencer more time to work his own persuasive magic. He knows a night or two will only be the beginning of what he wants to last forever. Can he convince Olivia to give love a try, or will she leave him forever as soon as the snow melts?

Read an excerpt.

Coming March 20.

Pre-order:
Amazon
iBooks
Nook
KOBO
GooglePlay
buy direct from Deborah

Also, Snowbound will be available in a print edition! Stay tuned for more details.

The Crusader’s Vow and What’s Next

The Crusader's Vow by Claire Delacroix, book #4 in the Champions of Saint Euphemia series of medieval romances.Phew! Time to take a deep breath and catch up. I was AWOL earlier this week, because I was finishing up The Crusader’s Vow.

Fergus and Leila’s book is now on my editor’s desk and expected back on mine next week. In the meantime, I’m making a list of little tweaks and touches that should be added to the book before publication. (I always think of zillions of little things after the book is “finished”.) I like this story very much and am glad to have gotten to the end of the adventure. I’m ready to start something new, but at the same time, am a little bit sad to say goodbye to my Champions. This is the final book to be published in the series and will make the quest complete.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you already know that I’ve decided against republishing the Rose Series as The Rose Legacy. I’ve unpublished those book pages from my website. Those three books were the first I ever published and though I’d thought I could do a quick editorial pass, the fact is that I wanted to completely rewrite them before republishing them. If I’m going to put that much time and effort into a book, I’d rather it be spent on a brand new story.

So, my next historical romance series will be The Brides of Inverfyre. We’ll head back to Scotland and catch up with all those kids from Kinfairlie. This linked series will follow after The True Love Brides.

The Rogue, book #1 of the Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy of medieval Scottish romances by Claire DelacroixIf you’re interested in a great long series of linked Scottish historical romances, you might want to join The Rogues of Ravensmuir newsletter and read book #1, The Rogue, free. This newsletter sequence, dedicated to this series, tells you about each book in the series, offers you discounts for buying from my online store, and gives you a peek behind the scenes at each story’s creation. I’m in the process of creating similar ones for The Jewels of Kinfairlie, The True Love Brides and the Champions of Saint Euphemia—at the end of each sequence, you’ll have the option of joining another series newsletter. So, if you start now with The Rogues of Ravensmuir newsletter, you’ll be all caught up with the Kinfairlie crowd by the time The Brides of Inverfyre series launches.

Subscribe to the Rogues of Ravensmuir series newsletter
and read The Rogue for free!

A little more catch-up—tomorrow I’ll choose the winner of the February signed book giveaway and post a new giveaway for March.

Simply Irresistible Sample

Simply Irresistible, a contemporary romance by Deborah Cooke and first in the Flatiron Five series.Download and read the first chapter of Simply Irresistible free.

Tyler has had enough…

Going to his fourth sister’s wedding without a date will only encourage his female relations to “help” him find romance. Ty’s ready to wait for Ms. Right, and doesn’t want anyone meddling in his love life. When he learns that the quiet cute woman who works in his building has the same predicament, he’s sure they can each provide a solution for the other. But there’s far more to Amy than meets the eye, and Tyler finds himself not only intrigued by her secrets, but falling hard. How far will he go to make their temporary arrangement permanent, and win the heart of a woman he finds…simply irresistible?

Coming November 29, 2016.

Download the first chapter free from my online store!
Choose EPUB or MOBI

Pre-order at these portals:

 Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

Wyvern’s Mate Today

Once, in the Kingdom of Incendium, there were twelve princesses of the realm, each a dragon shifter. Each fiery and passionate. Each possessed of an appetite for pleasure that only her destined mate can satisfy. Twelve men are expected in Incendium, each with special powers of his own, each with the gift to claim one dragon princess’s heart forever.

Wyvern's Mate, book #1 of the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeTroy will do whatever is necessary to earn his freedom from solitary confinement on the penal colony of Xanto, even assassinate a princess of Incendium. Being a MindBender, he has a serious advantage as a predator and thinks the princess in question doesn’t have a chance. Only one of them can survive and Troy knows who it will be—until he meets Drakina.

Royal dragon shifter Drakina has a quest of her own, to seduce her destined mate and conceive the crown prince of Incendium. Her father will free her from all other responsibilities if she completes this one task. Drakina craves her independence enough to seduce the unattractive Terran who is the Carrier of the Seed. She’s sure it will be a quick seduction—until she meets Troy.

Worlds collide when Troy and Drakina meet, and passion flares. The attraction is so powerful that they both choose to put their goals aside for one night of passion together. When their respective secrets are revealed, will the truth turn one against the other? Or will destiny allow this star-crossed pair to save each other and their unborn son?


Download a sample from my online store in EPUB or MOBI.

Wyvern’s Mate is available today! The print edition includes Nero’s Dream.

Buy EPUB at Deborah's online store Buy MOBI at Deborah's online store Buy at Amazon US Buy at iBooks Buy at Createspace Buy at Barnes & Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at All Romance eBooks Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon CA Buy at Amazon UK Buy at Amazon DE

Wyvern's Mate, book #1 in the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke, in audio

The audiobook of Wyvern’s Mate is in production, and is scheduled for release in August 2016. Saskia Maarleveld will narrate the series.

Pssst – Wyvern’s Mate

Wyvern’s Mate, first in my new series of paranormal romances featuring dragon shifter heroines, is available in my online store today. It ships from major online portals June 14.

Once, in the Kingdom of Incendium, there were twelve princesses of the realm, each a dragon shifter. Each fiery and passionate. Each possessed of an appetite for pleasure that only her destined mate can satisfy. Twelve men are expected in Incendium, each with special powers of his own, each with the gift to claim one dragon princess’s heart forever.

Wyvern's Mate, book #1 of the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeTroy will do whatever is necessary to earn his freedom from solitary confinement on the penal colony of Xanto, even assassinate a princess of Incendium. Being a MindBender, he has a serious advantage as a predator and thinks the princess in question doesn’t have a chance. Only one of them can survive and Troy knows who it will be—until he meets Drakina.

Royal dragon shifter Drakina has a quest of her own, to seduce her destined mate and conceive the crown prince of Incendium. Her father will free her from all other responsibilities if she completes this one task. Drakina craves her independence enough to seduce the unattractive Terran who is the Carrier of the Seed. She’s sure it will be a quick seduction—until she meets Troy.

Worlds collide when Troy and Drakina meet, and passion flares. The attraction is so powerful that they both choose to put their goals aside for one night of passion together. When their respective secrets are revealed, will the truth turn one against the other? Or will destiny allow this star-crossed pair to save each other and their unborn son?


Download a sample from my online store in EPUB or MOBI.

Wyvern’s Mate will ship on June 14 from major portals but is available TODAY from my online store. The print edition is also available now from Createspace and Amazon, and includes the short story Nero’s Dream.

Buy EPUB at Deborah's online store Buy MOBI at Deborah's online store

Pre-order for June 14:

Buy at Amazon US Buy at iBooks Buy at Createspace Buy at Barnes & Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at All Romance eBooks Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon CA Buy at Amazon UK Buy at Amazon DE


Meet Drakina

There’s an excerpt in my 2016 Sampler which introduces Drakina, and the copy says that there will be more information about her story on my blog by May 1. Well, today’s the day!

Wyvern's Mate, book #1 in the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeWyvern’s Mate is the first in a series of paranormal romances featuring the twelve royal princesses of Incendium, who also happen to be dragon shifters. Drakina’s story is available for pre-order at major online portals for June 15. As discussed yesterday, The Dragons of Incendium have their own website. You’ll find excerpts, character listings and buy links on that site.

Newsletter subscribers had a sneak peek of Wyvern’s Mate this month. That longer excerpt is available free in my online store in EPUB or MOBI.

I will have some advance print copies of Wyvern’s Mate at Romancing the Capital in Ottawa next week, and also a few at BookCon 2016 in Chicago. I’ll be signing at BookCon in the RWA booth on Saturday May 14 at noon. Be sure to find me to ask for one!

 

The Fiery Portal

The Dragons of Incendium is a paranormal romance series featuring dragon shape shifter heroines. These are also SF romances – Incendium is the home planet of these shifters. These are novellas, with short stories released in between. They should be read in order.

This series is completely separate from Dragonfire.

On the far side of the galaxy, two planets, Regalia and Incendium, are locked into orbit around a dying sun. Since the Queen of Regalia has twelve sons, and the King of Incendium has twelve daughters, it is clear to both monarchs that the time has come to put their differences aside and compel at least one pair of their children to marry. A prophecy that Drakina, the oldest daughter of the house of Incendium, will bear a son who will save the planet simply adds to the parental desire for a wedding, soon.

The sons of Regalia are champions and knights. The daughters of Incendium are dragon shifters, fiery princesses with appetites beyond all expectation.

The first royal match does not work out well.

The Dragons of IncendiumWyvern's Mate, book #1 in the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke have their own website. You’ll find book descriptions, character listings, a glossary and buy links on that site. There’s just a list of the books on this site – look on the menu bar under Deborah Cooke Books. There’s a tab called Incendium and you can see the books in order, but the links on that page will take you to the Dragons of Incendium site. Clicking on the cover below is like stepping into a wormhole in space – click and *whoosh* you’ll be on the Incendium site. 🙂

The Dragons of Incendium series begins with:

Wyvern’s Mate

Nero’s Dream
(a short story)

Wyvern’s Prince