Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you and yours! I hope that 2022 is a healthy, happy and productive year!

I have so many plans for this year – not resolutions, but plans and ideas abound. You can see some of that in my pre-orders which are already up for the year:

The Hunter & the Heiress, book two of the Blood Brothers series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix
The Hunter & the Heiress
The Hunter & the Heiress, book two of the Blood Brothers series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, audio edition
The Hunter & the Heiress audio
An Most Inconvenient Earl, book four of the Brides of North Barrows series of Regency romance novellas by Claire Delacroix
A Most Inconvenient Earl
When Annika Met Thom, book ten of the Flatiron Five Fitness series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke
When Annika Met Thom
Dragon's Wolf, book five of the DragonFate novels paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke
Dragon’s Wolf
Flatiron Five Fitness Boxed Set 2, including books 4 to 6 of the contemporary romance series by Deborah Cooke
Flatiron Five Fitness Boxed Set 2
Just a Small Town Romance, book one of the Heroes of Harte's Harbor series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke
Just a Small Town Romance
The Brides of North Barrows Boxed Set, including four Regency romance novellas by Claire Delacroix
The Brides of North Barrows
The Dragon & the Damsel, book three of the Blood Brothers series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix
The Dragon & the Damsel

These books are planned for the last quarter of the year, although the pre-orders aren’t posted yet:

A multi-author Regency Holiday Romance Anthology

Heroes of Harte’s Harbor 2

Flatiron Five Fitness Boxed Set 3, including books 7 - 10 of the contemporary romance series by Deborah Cooke
Flatiron Five Fitness Boxed Set 3

I’m hoping to add some releases, but will share those with you when I know for sure.

On the back end of things, I’m making more changes to free up time to write and to improve efficiencies. After two years of being unable to attend writers’ conferences, I’m skeptical that I’ll add them back into my timeline again. They take a lot of time and are expensive – although each conference is usually 4 or 5 days at most, there are travel days on either end, plus preparation beforehand and getting back to routine afterwards. I usually lose 3 weeks of writing, and I don’t want to give that up anymore. Also, I always end up with ideas that often turn out to be distractions. It’s exciting to discover the fun things that other writers are doing with their work and to promote their work, but often these avenues don’t work out as well for me. I’ve decided to just write as much as possible instead. The same goes for teaching workshops and attending reader conferences—I’m officially becoming a unicorn author and will stay home to write (and write and write…)

I’m stepping back from translations, too, mostly in terms of Spanish editions. I had an opportunity to do a lot of them in 2021, but they were quite distracting. It is comparatively easy to publish translations through Babelcube and I’m lucky to be working with some great teams there, so that will continue.

I need to make some changes to the websites, too. My themes are no longer supported, which means it’s time to update them. (Ugh.) I’m thinking of adding some new plug-ins to simplify site management, even though that will likely mean updating the end matter in all of my ebooks, too. My current plan is to roll all three sites into this one this year, and I’m exploring other options for my newsletters, too.

I’ll also be doing more crafting. 🙂 I love knitting but am also enjoying my miniatures. All of the projects and progress will continue to live on my Alive & Knitting blog and website. I can’t wait to get out in the garden next spring either.

Phew. Big plans, considering I have no resolutions. LOL

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my first quarter ebook specials.

The Damsel Pre-Order

The pre-order for the 2017 edition of The Damsel is live at Amazon, iBooks, Nook and Kobo!

The Damsel, book #2 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixOnce upon a time, the legendary knight Burke Fitzgavin galloped into Kiltorren Castle and fell in love with Alys, the lord’s orphaned niece. But her uncle was determined that Burke marry one of his homely daughters instead. Through tricks and lies, Burke was sent away believing that Alys wanted nothing of his heart.

Pledged to a Bride Quest, Burke has vowed not to return home until he finds his long-lost love. He returns to Kiltorren to discover that the fiery young innocent has become a woman, a servant on her uncle’s estate. Paying penance for Burke’s long-ago embrace, she wants nothing to do with him. Burke knows he must earn her trust again.

Even as he slowly rekindles her desire, Alys’ family attempts to thwart their romance—determined that Alys should not marry before her cousins do. But Burke is a warrior and this battle to win the hand and the heart of his one true love will be his greatest challenge ever…

“A gem of a book!”

USA Today Bestseller


New edition available September 14, 2017

Pre-order available 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


Addicted to Love Pre-Order

The pre-order for Addicted to Love is live at Amazon and Nook. (It was already live at iBooks and Kobo.) It will be available in my online store in June and at GooglePlay on the release day.

June 29 is the big day for Kyle and Lauren’s story!

Addicted to Love, a contemporary romance by Deborah CookeKyle wants it all…
Kyle Stuyvesant doesn’t believe in love and romance. His parents taught him that there’s no such thing as forever, and he took the lesson to heart. After all, there’s only one woman who ever tempted him to more than a single hot night together. Fortunately for his convictions, she’s married to another guy. Problem solved—until Lauren’s marriage collapses and Kyle isn’t just the bearer of bad news, but the man she turns to for comfort.

Lauren demands his all…
When Lauren’s marriage implodes, she wants to lose herself in pleasure and sensation. Who knows that territory better than Kyle, the eternal playboy, who seduced her so deliciously years before? It was a night Lauren never forgot, and now that she wants to forget everything, Kyle is the only man she wants. Will she be able to accept his terms of no love or romance? Or will Lauren convince Kyle to take a chance on wanting more?

Coming June 29, 2017!

Download the first chapter free from my online store:
Buy EPUB e-book from Deborah Buy MOBI e-book from Deborah

Pre-order at these portals:
Buy at iBooks Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

Pre-orders, Placeholders and Final Book Files

I’ve decided to make some changes in how I work, which will be mostly invisible to you. The one thing you’re going to notice is a little gap in new books being released. What’s happening is that I’m switching the order around.

Here’s why.

To date, I’ve listed books for pre-order (and shown you the covers) when they were still being finished. The idea is that when you finish book #1, you might like to order book #2, so I’ve made those links available for you. Even though I leave what seems to be enough time, plus a buffer, schedules have been getting tighter and tighter over the past year. The reason for this is pretty simple. The vendors I use are very good, which means they’re getting busier. They have more clients and tighter schedules. Everything works as long as everyone keeps to deadline—not just me, but ALL of each vendor’s clients. If someone gets sick, or there’s an unexpected development in their personal life, the domino effect kicks in. When vendors are less busy, they can move things around, but I’ve noticed in this past year that it’s become much harder for everyone to be flexible.

In a way, indie publishing is becoming like traditional publishing: when one deadline is missed in the production schedule, the domino effect might mean that the book’s publication date has to be moved. Each step in the production process is scheduled for a certain date, and the book can’t just move a week down the schedule because there’s another book scheduled for that time.

The Crusader's Vow by Claire Delacroix, book #4 in the Champions of Saint Euphemia series of medieval romances.Another thing that’s been happening this year is that portals have been delivering the wrong file to readers. How can this be? At some portals, a pre-order can only be made available with a book file. Of course, if the book isn’t done, the correct book file isn’t available. The best solution is at iBooks, which doesn’t require a placeholder file at all. There’s no chance of confusion there. (This is called an asset-less pre-order.) At other portals, it’s common to use a placeholder file—for example, the placeholder file for The Crusader’s Vow at Kobo is a single page, which says that if you receive this file instead of the book, you should contact Kobo customer service. I like this solution, as there’s no chance of confusion, but it doesn’t work elsewhere. At Amazon, for example, the page count displayed on the product page is derived from the book file—if I upload a single page like the one at Kobo, the book will be listed as having one page and I will receive many emails complaining that a single page book shouldn’t be priced so high. (I know, because I’ve done this before!) The book will also automatically appear in a lot of quick read categories based on the size of that file, which would be wrong. So, the placeholder file for The Crusader’s Vow at Amazon is the final file of The Crusader’s Kiss. I had expected the two books to be about the same length (but actually Vow is longer). The benefit of this strategy is that it will be immediately obvious to a reader if the wrong file is delivered to them. Since B&N requires a book file and has been delivering the wrong file a lot this year, there has been no pre-order or placeholder file for The Crusader’s Vow there. The book will be listed for pre-order only when the final file can be uploaded.

There’s a deadline, of course, for providing the final file at each portal. Once the final file is uploaded (and uploaded on time) the portal should deliver it to the customer on the on-sale date. What’s been happening this year is that the placeholder file is being delivered instead. As you can imagine, this creates a huge mess. (If this happens to you, btw, please contact customer service at the portal in question. Please do not leave one-star reviews for the book or send hate mail to the author. Neither of these actions will get you the right book file. Of course, it’s frustrating, but only the portal can deliver the book you’ve paid them to receive.)

I’ve been thinking for a while that the best strategy is to only ever upload one book file.

Something Wicked This Way Comes, a Regency romance novella by Claire Delacroix and #1 of the Brides of North BarrowsTo give it a try, this year I set up a pre-order for a book that was already done. Something Wicked This Way Comes was written last summer and published in the Spellbound anthology last fall. I have the right to publish it on its own in March, so in December, I put it up for pre-order. I had the final book file, commissioned a cover, had it formatted and put it up for pre-order with the final book file. This has been a wonderful experience. Not only does the book have a nice volume of pre-orders because it’s been available longer as a pre-order, but its publication has been completely stress-free. I’ve even forgotten about it a couple of times, then remembered that I should make some memes. I want all of my book publications to be this easy!

Addicted to Love, a contemporary romance by Deborah CookeSo, my strategy going forward is going to be listing the book for sale only after it’s done, when the final file can be uploaded.

There’s one last asset-less pre-order out there—it’s for Kyle’s book, Addicted to Love, and is only at Kobo and iBooks. I’m going to write that book next and get it all loaded up early. When you see the Amazon pre-order, you’ll know Kyle’s book is done!

It will look to you as if I’m not writing much for a bit, but things will be busy behind the scenes. Once we make the transition, the publication schedule will look as busy as ever and ALL pre-orders will be for completed books.

I’m looking forward to it.

Excerpt from The Crusader’s Handfast

The Crusader's Handfast, Part 1, a serialized medieval romance by Claire DelacroixThere’s an excerpt here on the site now for The Crusader’s Handfast. It’s from the very beginning of the book, so the same excerpt works for Part One of the serialization and for the whole book.

Part One is finished and edited, and is in the midst of being uploaded to the various online portals. There will be pre-order links everywhere very soon.

The trick with pre-orders is that it’s better at some portals to upload the final book file before making the pre-order available. In some cases it’s not possible to do it otherwise. In others, it’s just not a good idea, because the book files can get mixed up. That kind of confusion isn’t an issue at Kobo or iBooks, which is why buy links are available sooner at those portals. I’m trying to be far enough ahead of the game on this serialization, though, to put up the links everywhere as soon as possible (and ultimately hope to manage it for all new releases). Part Two, for example, is already being edited, so should be up for pre-order everywhere by the time Part One goes on sale.

The Crusader's Handfast, #5 in the Champions of Saint Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixI’m trying to make the pre-order for the entire book available by the time Part One goes on sale, as well, but that’s also a bit tricky. It is available at Kobo and iBooks, the two portals that make pre-orders easy.

You can read the first excerpt right here.