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.

Those Champions

Many of you know I have a new series coming up called the Champions of Saint Euphemia. Some of you have pre-ordered book #1, The Crusader’s Bride, and you may have noticed the date slipping out. I thought we’d talk about that today.

My original plan with this idea was that these four stories would be novellas, of about 25,000 words in length, which would be published in rapid succession – one a month over this summer. May, June, July and August would have been the release months under this plan. The problem became clear in April however – Gaston and Ysmaine were not going to have their story told in a mere 25,000 words. I was past that word count and they were still working it out.

I revised my plan, certain that these would be four short books, of about 50,000 words each. I moved the publication date of book #1 to June, and was planning on releases every second month – so the others would follow in August, October and December. It was a good plan, but Gaston and Ysmaine still refused to have their story rushed.

The Crusader's Bride, a medieval romance by Claire DelacroixThe Crusader’s Bride is a full length book and has gone off to my editor. I suspect that when the edits are done, it will be 100,000 words long. It will be published on July 28. I’ll be writing full length books for the other stories in the series, too, which means that monthly or even bimonthly releases are out of the question.

I am writing more quickly this year, which was my goal. I had hoped to write the equivalent of six full books this year instead of three, and am right on schedule – it’s June and I’ve written the equivalent of three full books already. (Remember that Firestorm Forever was double the usual book length.) Three more books by the end of the year means finishing the Champions series, or maybe the next two in that series and the first DragonFate book. Maybe I’ll manage four more books by the end of the year!

The Crusader's Heart, book #2 in the Champions of St. Euphemia series by Claire Delacroix The Crusader's Kiss, #3 in the Champions of St Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix The Crusader's Vow, #4 in the Champions of St Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

This week, I’m putting the other Champion titles up for pre-order at Kobo and iBooks: The Crusader’s Heart for October 20, The Crusader’s Kiss for January 19 and The Crusader’s Vow for April 19. The Pinterest pages are live for the first two books (I’m still compiling the other two) so click through and have a peek. This puts me back into a more familiar rhythm, similar to the one I’ve followed for twenty years or so, and makes me think about alternating between knights and dragons, maybe starting in the fall.

I’ll keep you posted on that!

Firestorm Forever – The Big Book

Firestorm Forever, A Dragonfire Novel and paranormal romance by Deborah CookeFirestorm Forever, as you all know, is the final Dragonfire novel. Some of you may know that there are three firestorms in this book, and that it takes place over a year. This has necessitated some choices on my part.

First off, there’s the structure of the book itself. Ideally, each of those three firestorms would have been individual books—to hold to the model of the previous Dragonfire novels—but the nature of the story made that impossible. The three firestorms are entwined and influence each other, AND they all come to their happy conclusion around the same time. Because the three romances are concurrent and interwoven, I decided they should all be in one book.

Secondly, the book is long. Every time I look at it, it gets longer. This makes sense, as there can’t be three firestorms (and the world saved) in 95,000 words, but also creates some structural issues. If we were still in the realm of print-only books (or if a print publisher was making the publication decisions) this book would have been split in half, into Part I and Part II, which then would have been sold separately. This would be like a serialization, and Part I would end with a cliff-hanger. I think this is not a really good solution for a paranormal romance, because just about nothing is resolved after Part I. As a reader, cliff-hanger endings make me feel a bit cheated, like I have to pay for two books to get the whole story.

Firestorm Forever *is* split in half, but both halves are in the same volume. So, when you get to the cliff-hanger at the end of Part I, you just have to turn the page to find out what happens next. 🙂 This means that the print book will be a big volume, but I’m checking out some ideas as to how best to deal with that.

The third thing is that I’ve discovered that I needed to create The Dragonfire Companion at the same time as writing Firestorm Forever, to ensure that I don’t miss any loose ends. This is a huge job—although it’s fun, it’s taking a LOT of time.

So, there just aren’t enough hours between now and March to get all of this done, and ensure that it’s edited and proofed the way I want. As a result, the publication date for Firestorm Forever has moved to May 13. That’s two months later than the original publication date,. I’m sorry to make this change, but it had to be done. On the upside, The Dragonfire Companion will probably be published this summer, which is sooner than I’d expected.

If you pre-ordered at iBooks or Kobo, the date for fulfilling your order has been updated. If you pre-ordered at Amazon, your pre-order has been cancelled. Amazon does not allow any changes to be made to publication dates on books available for pre-order.

About Firestorm Forever

Firestorm Forever, A Dragonfire Novel and paranormal romance by Deborah CookeI’m one of those comparison shoppers, so I thought I’d bring you up to date on the plans for Firestorm Forever. It’s a big book—it tells of three firestorms and takes place over a year. It can’t be broken into smaller books, because all of the firestorms come to their happy endings near the end. That’s all the spoiler I’m going to give you on that.

But the size of the book leads to some changes. The book is available for pre-order now where it can be, and is priced at $4.99 for pre-order. The price will stay at that point for two days—because some of you shop at other portals, like B&N, which don’t permit pre-orders, so that’s fair—then will go to $9.99.

The trade paperback edition will also be big. It’ll certainly be priced higher than $14.99 (because the number of pages influences the cost and thus the price of print books). It will be available for pre-order at Amazon, then at other portals after the on-sale date of March 16. B&N seems to take about a week to list my trade paperback editions, while the Book Depository takes two weeks.

Because price is a consideration for everyone, I want to remind you about the Amazon Matchbook program. All of my indie-published books are registered in this program. It works like this: if you buy the print edition first at Amazon, you can then buy the digital for a cheaper price—I price all of mine at 99 cents. That program (which I think is awesome) is only available at Amazon, but if you already shop there, you might want to take advantage of it.

You can download the first chapter of Firestorm Forever and read it for free. Here’s the MOBI and here’s the EPUB. (Last night, they were doing some server maintenance, so if you get an error, just try again.)

You can also pre-order Firestorm Forever at these portals now, and take advantage of that early-bird discount. 🙂
Buy at Amazon
Buy at iBooks Buy at KOBO

Queens of Medieval Romance Boxed Set

The Queens of Medieval Romance have put together a boxed set of ten novels called Lairds, Lords and Lovers. It’s available now for $1.99, and will only be available until April 2015.

Here’s the cover:
Queens of Medieval Romance Boxed Set
And here’s what’s inside:
My Champion by Glynnis Campbell
The Mackinnon’s Bride by Tanya Anne Crosby
Highland Solution by Ceci Giltenan
The Rogue by Claire Delacroix
Dance of Desire by Catherine Kean
The Highlander’s Temptation by Eliza Knight
Archangel by Kathryn Le Veque
Conquering Passion by Anna Markland
Angel’s Assassin by Laurel O’Donnell
Rowan’s Lady by Suzan Tisdale

What a great opportunity to discover some new medieval romance authors!
You can buy it at these portals:

Buy at Amazon Buy at iBooks Buy at KOBO Buy at B&N