Author: Melinda De Ross

Loving wife, USA Today bestselling author, graphic designer, fashion addict. melindadeross.com

My career in a single chart 📈

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. It’s been more than six years since I took that first step and set off to be a writer, armed with nothing but thousands of books read and a vague dream I didn’t dare hope would come true. Unlike many writers who studied the craft and did everything by the book, I fumbled around like a bat in the sunshine, and over the years I made just about every mistake one could make in this industry. But I wouldn’t change a single thing, because each failure was a lesson learned. My career took shape with each book I wrote, with each publishing contract I signed, and each publisher I left. Six years ago I was scribbling my first novella on an old notebook, and today I’m still in awe of the technology that has become my business partner. Authors nowadays have access to incredible resources, for which I’m grateful every day. I am always excited to learn new things, always on the lookout to learn and improve both my craft and my marketing skills. And I’m even more excited to see my hard work is paying off.

This is most of my career in a single chart – my evolution as an author on Amazon. Picturing that vague dream that started six years ago, now I can’t believe how close I stay to that illusive #1, among thousands of brilliant authors and their fine works!

Author rank 15 august 2019

A new kindle book is published EVERY FIVE MINUTES on Amazon. According to the numbers up to date, there are over SIX MILLION EBOOKS on Amazon alone, and that number increases exponentially every year. It’s humbling and exhilarating to know I manage to stay afloat in this sea of words, and it motivates me tremendously that people all over the world read my stories. Some like them, some don’t, but I am happy they make an impression either way. As I’m expanding and exploring other genres, it’s my fondest wish to prove an author can be successful writing in several genres, and it’s my mission to write at least one story for each type of reader. Watch this space to see if I’ll succeed, and if you haven’t already, subscribe to my newsletter to receive the latest updates of my crazy, beautiful, breathtaking, heart-wrenching journey!

Yours,

Melinda

subscribe

Advertisements

Less than two days to get your FREEBIE!

Hi guys! If you haven’t seen my latest posts, I just wanted to send you a reminder about my FREE book promotion for my suspense romance, THE PLOT. You have until tomorrow night at 23:59 EST to download the eBook for FREE, and get the audio book for only $7,95 from AMAZON.

For those of you who don’t know the story, here’s the 30 second uncensored trailer. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to see more of these! 😉

Download your FREE ebook here and if you enjoy it don’t forget to please, please leave a review. 😀

And because one treat is never enough for me, I have another one for you too. Check out the Authors’ Billboard July contest, enter to Win one of 2 X $20,00 Amazon gift cards, and check out more great book deals to stock your Kindle!

summer-814679_1280-1-1024x422

Have a fabulous summer! ❤

 

“Love, Christmas 2” made it to the Best Movies eBooks of All Time! @BookAuthority

Holy Moly, I’ve been off Twitter for a couple of days and here’s what I missed: the anthology Love, Christmas 2 – Movies You Love (The Holiday Series Book 2) published by our group, Authors’ Billboard, made it to BookAuthority’s Best Movies eBooks of All Time:
https://bookauthority.org/books/best-movies-ebooks?t=izqov2&s=award&book=B07G4K5YR2

BookAuthority Best Movies eBooks of All Time

BookAuthority is the world’s leading website for nonfiction book recommendations, helping people find the best books on any topic.
It covers topics that range from startups, marketing and finance, through javascript, artificial intelligence and bitcoin, to fitness, history and personal development.
BookAuthority serves millions of book recommendations every month, was ranked #1 on ProductHunt, and has been featured on CNNForbesand Inc.
Every day, their site scans the web for notable books on various topics, then collects dozens of different signals about each book (such as public mentions, recommendations, ratings, sentiment and sales history) and uses a propritary algorithm to rate each book.
Only the very best books are featured in BookAuthority’s lists.
To keep the site objective and unbiased, ratings are calculated based purely on data. BookAuthority does not accept authors’ requests to feature a book, nor do they charge any money to be featured.

lc2

BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honor for my wonderful co-authors and me to get this kind of recognition. A million thanks to all our readers for your support! It’s moments like these that make us happy, accomplished authors. ❤

Is it worth admitting you made a mistake and trying to fix it?

Marilyn

Have you ever noticed most people are far quicker to criticize than to praise? I know it’s probably human nature, I even do it myself sometimes without wanting to, but since I was subjected to this treatment more than the average person, I learned not to be so quick to judge.

I became a writer six years ago, and like in any other job, I learned along the way. Even Nora Roberts and Stephen King have bad books. Nicholas Sparks admitted he will never publish his first two novels, because they were not as good as his later work. Unlike him, I published nearly everything I wrote. I don’t know if that’s unfortunate or not, because I learned everything I know about writing from actually making all the mistakes in the business. Sometimes I made them more than once, just to be sure I learned my lesson.  😒 But some readers don’t understand that one can become a better writer only with time and practice. Writers are human, like any other people, and no book is perfect. I’ve managed to revise most of mine, and among them is Unabridged, a romantic comedy that was a bestseller at the time of its release in 2015. Back then, the first edition received mixed reviews, and while it got a lot of five-stars, there were plenty of one-star ratings and comments from readers. Some of them were mean for the sake of meanness, but others raised valid points, which in the end helped me make Unabridged a better book.

This year I have finally managed to rewrite it with the help of my great editor, Susanne Matthews, and republished the new edition with a new cover to match.

I was happy about my accomplishment, and naïve enough to talk about it in one of the author groups I am part of. To my surprise, one of the members asked me in a somewhat harsh tone why I had published Unabridged in the first place if I thought it wasn’t that good. Her question took me by surprise, especially since this is an author of average romance with terrible cheap-looking covers (see, I have a mean streak too, but I try to keep it tamed! 😜 ). Anyway, I answered frankly, the way I always do, and told her I published the book because at the time I was proud of my accomplishment, I wanted to share it with the world, and yes, I needed to make money from my writing—because the damn bills won’t pay themselves, no matter how much I sweet talk them. What shocked me the most though was that no one in that group thought of saying a nice word about the fact that I admitted my mistakes, and that I cared so much about what readers thought I decided to rewrite my book.

Some of the reviewers said Unabridged was mean and judgmental, yet here I was, in the real world, among real people, on trial for admitting and fixing a mistake I made. WTH? I certainly did not expect any medals, but I hardly expected to be judged for being less than perfect.

In the end, this was a good lesson regarding the way people think. And although I have read several terrible books lately, some of them from my favorite authors, I decided not to leave any bad reviews. Because I know that writing a book, even a bad one, is a tremendous effort, and I’m in no position to cut off wings I haven’t built. Life is too full of drama as it is, and I agree with Marilyn Monroe: imperfection is beauty. Who wants to be perfect? It must be boring as hell.

10/25/2018 – A small step for humanity, a huge milestone for me 🏆

A little over a year ago, the seed of what seemed like a crazy dream took root in my mind and heart: to become a USA Today bestselling author. Not only that, but I realized that if I made it, I would be the first Romanian in history to achieve this prestigious title. Since that moment, I worked relentlessly toward this goal, and I’m still amazed by how many incredible people I met on the way, people who joined me in my journey and fought hard to help me achieve my dream.

Together, we did it. I am a USA Today bestselling author!

https://www.usatoday.com/life/books/best-selling/week/2018/43/page/12/

USA Today

There are so many people I owe this accomplishment to, and if I miss anyone I apologize, but my hands are still shaking with excitement. Thank you Carmen, Mimi, Sue, Jackie, all my wonderful co-authors of Love, Christmas 2 and to all of you, my dear readers and friends, who bought this box set.

The hardest part was the torture of waiting and not being able to access the USA Today website – either because of GDPR or our famous hackers – but my dear friends kept me posted and sent me screen shots of our success, while I was stalking their posts and messages like a headless chicken. All in all, it was an experience I will never forget!

The most special THANK YOU goes to my husband, for being here for me, for believing in me, for offering moral and financial support, emergency hugs, pep talks, for playing housekeeper, tear-wiper, even chef when I was too exhausted, and never complaining when I worked twelve hours a day until 2 or 3 am, for keeping my spirits up with his endless supply of optimism, and for putting up with me – which is no easy job.

My soul mate, this victory is yours, as much – or even more – than it’s mine.     

we are the champions

A Look at Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas, one of the stories in Love, Christmas 2, Movies You Love, Boxed Set

The first review of Boyfriend Wanted for Christmas! ❤️🎅🎄

Living the Dream

LC2Good morning. Despite the fact that decorations in my neighborhood are set on the macabre with Halloween looming large on the calendar,  I’m looking beyond them to my favorite season of the year, Christmas.

On Tuesday, Love, Christmas 2 was released and while I haven’t had time to read the entire collection, I’ve scanned a few stories. There’s one that is a rewrite of It’s A Wonderful life that i plan to get to soon, but today, I’m going to focus on one that I have read and absolutely adored.

Boyfriend Wanted for ChristmasThe premise: 

Thirty-three-year-old librarian Andrea Sachse doesn’t have the time or skills to date. No man can ever live up to her dreamy book boyfriends, so why bother? But with her parents looking more desperate each time she shows up solo for their annual Christmas party, this year she’s determined to find herself a boyfriend by any means—fair or foul.

View original post 908 more words

Please help me make HISTORY today! 🏆

 

One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho, once said, “If you stop dreaming you stop living life.
I suppose he was right. I used to be a big daydreamer in my teens, but as the years passed, life and the inevitable disappointments got me down to earth. So I’ve decided I would set realistic goals for myself and work relentlessly to achieve them.
You may not believe this, but today it’s up to you to help me realize one of my biggest dreams: to be the first Romanian in history to become a USA Today bestselling author. And it costs you only 99 cents.
As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, I’m part of a Christmas anthology alongside 25 amazing authors, writers with incredible credentials who worked tirelessly for the past months so we can make my dream come true – together. To be part of our magic team, you just need to spend less than a minute and purchase the box set for 99 cents from one or all of these venues: Amazon,   iTunes,    Barnes&Noble  or   Kobo.

We need to sell as many books as possible to readers who support: B&N, Kobo and iBooks. Therefore, to encourage you, our readers, who buy books at those venues, if you reply with a link showing a purchase from any one of these 3 places, we will enter your name into the Giveaway, with a $100 Amazon gift certificate or a Paypal payment as the prize. You can enter as many times as you have purchase slips. The draw will be picked on Oct 23rd.
Just email your proof of purchase to authorsbillboard@gmail.com

44177296_10155858436076616_8710594602895147008_n

What’s your biggest dream? What steps are you taking to reach it? Join me and the rest of the authors today and tomorrow at our Facebook party and let’s chat! There will be great prizes, lots of giveaways, and we’ll simply have fun. Besides, it’s my first Facebook party, so I could use your support. 🙂
Thank you to everyone who has already purchased Love, Christmas 2, and for those of you who haven’t, I would appreciate it immensely if you invested 99 cents in my dream. Who knows? Maybe one day it will get back to you a million times more. ❤

The Diary – one year anniversary!

The DiaryWell, technically it’s been longer, since The Diary was initially published under another title, but last year on August 13th I was republishing the freshly-edited version of my suspense gothic romance. I thought I was done with it, I was and still am very proud of this book, but over time its magic has clung to my subconscious. Which is why I wrote Celebrity, another novel that shows how The Diary would be turned into a Hollywood movie. BTW, Celebrity is FREE this week, so if you want to grab a copy, all I ask for in return is a nice review 🙂

BUT this is not where the story ends. Prompted by readers, reviewers and my own urge to continue weaving stories about Hunter’s and Serena’s adventures, I have decided The Diary is the first book in a hopefully prolific series. So right after I finish editing my work-in-progress (I’ll treat you with a sneak peek next week! 🙂 ), I’m going to start writing the next Hunter and Serena book. No, I don’t have a name for the series yet, so if you’ve read The Diary, I would love to learn your impressions and ideas in the comments, as well as your suggestions for the next book in the series.

Until next week! ❤

Thank you_The Diary

Are you in on this Top 5 favorite TV shows?

Hi guys!

Summer is here, holidays are the lights at the end of the work tunnel, and some of us might actually have some free time for relaxation soon. 😍

As most people, I enjoy a good TV show, but since my hubby and I have SUCH different tastes (he likes the typical guy thing: crime, drama, things blowing up, blood and gore all over, and I prefer rom-coms and chicklit), we have some trouble choosing stuff to watch. Nonetheless, we both enjoy family shows, and those are the winners in my Top 5 favorite TV shows. 

So, let’s start with

#5: TWO AND A HALF MEN – the CBS show that basically paid Charlie Sheen to play Charlie Harper (which is 100% Charlie Sheen), and get awards for this! Not your average family show, but it certainly teaches us a thing or three about family, and how disfunctional things can get. Sick at times, rarely serious, always lough-out-loud funny!

Two and a half men

#4: SIREN – a new show from Freeform that–well–shows promise, not because of the newbie actors who are sometimes quite bad at it, but because the storyline is super original. At least, it’s nothing I’ve seen/read about before. I can’t decide if this show is horror, fantasy, or just an unlikely romance between man and mermaid, but so far I am hooked by the gorgeous settings and eerie atmosphere. The downside is that the first season, which just ended, had only 10 episodes, and the next season is scheduled for 2019. 😦

Siren

 #3: OUTLANDER – the rising star of Starz, which is already 3 seasons down, with season 4 expected this November. I was in love with the books loooooong before they became TV material, but at first I wasn’t sold on the show. However, the exceptional actors and incredible settings bring to life beautifully the powerful love story of Jamie and Claire, as well as their adventures while they try to change history. Diana Gabaldon certainly did!

Outlander

#2: THE MIDDLE – No wonder the first episode starts with Frankie dressed as Wonder Woman. Anyone who raises even one kid — not to mention three — is a hero! This is a perfect family show about your average imperfect family. For someone who doesn’t have kids yet, I wonder if I should take parenting lessons from this show… 🤔 Probably not, but it’s still fun and cozy.

middle

And now drum rolls please…

#1: THE KING OF QUEENS –  another winner from CBS! When I first saw this show I told my husband “We have to sue somebody. These people stole our life story!”

You guessed, the resemblance between this show and our life is so uncanny I could swear we served as inspiration, except the show started airing in 1998, and hubby and I got married in 2006. Still, I can’t believe there are three people in this world to resemble us so much, from funny, good-natured Doug, to loud-mouth, pushy Carrie, and… Arthur.😑 The only difference is that he isn’t living in our basement. Other than that, the similarities are downright spooky. Hubby gets an eye twitch whenever we watch it. 😀 Whether or not you have an Arthur too, this show is definitely one you have to watch at least once in your lifetime!

King

I hope you guys liked my Top 5 fav TV shows, and if you’d like to help me expand my list do let me know in your comments what shows you like and why. ❤

 

Review of The Diary from InD’tale Magazine

Good Sunday morning, everyone! It’s a dreary, cloudy day here, one of those days when you just want to cuddle with a good book, a huge mug of hot chocolate and a spouse/kid/pet by your side. Lucky you if you have all of that AND time to read. 😀

My day has suddenly brightened an hour ago, when I saw that InD’tale Magazine has finally reviewed my book, The Diary, which I submitted in August 2017. I was a little anxious  because I know this magazine is quite exigent, and The Diary is one of my best books, so imagine my delight when I saw it got a 4 star review from Majanka Verstraete!

Without any more preamble, here is the much-expected review:

The diary teaser

stars-4 GOTHIC:  In Transylvania, a castle is uncovered that once belonged to Erzsébet Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess. Cameraman Hunter Cole and journalist Serena Scott are called to the castle to make a documentary about the discovery. The more they work together, the more they’re drawn to one another, as Serena uncovers certain hidden depths to Hunter’s character. As tension lingers between them and the attraction between them grows, can they still keep things professional? When in a nearby village, two girls are tortured and killed in a manner very similar to Báthory’s modus operandi, Serena and Hunter fear they might have a copycat killer on their hands. Then the question arises: who will be next?

As far as murder mysteries go, “The Diary” is quite solid, with a few unexpected twists. The throwback to Báthory’s way of working is intriguing too, as the Blood Countess was certainly an interesting historical figure, although quite frightening and deadly too. The author shines when describing atmosphere, not just in the old, decrepit castle, but also in the nearby village. There’s a palpable sense of isolation for both characters, contradicted only by the growing bond between them. Fans of mystery novels, especially ones with a lot of romance and historic twists, will definitely enjoy this book.

amazon