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Alyssa Drake Novels

Steamy Romance with a Twist

Journey into the mind of a writer on deadline...‚Äč


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Day 43 - Beginning the end

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 22 September, 2021 at 16:25 Comments comments (0)

Remember when I said that writing the first chapter of a book is the hardest part? Well, the second hardest part is writing the last chapter. Every loose end either needs to be tied up, or touched upon (as some of them won't be resolved until later books). Because of that, I have started another running list of things that need to be addressed. However, an info dump, no matter where in the text, is never a good thing (and since this is the last part of the book before the reader decides whether they want book 2), that is not the way to close out this chapter.

I ended up writing a skeleton chapter, which is plot outline with a handful of sentences on each plot point. This is not my favorite way to write a chapter, but since those tiny little voices kept popping up with helpful "what about this" reminders, it was the only way to shut them up. I'll have to move things around as I flesh out the chapter, but I like the start of it, and that's comforting.

500 words written and as I went to record the total in my tracker, I realized tomorrow's date. September 22nd. The first day of Autumn, and my mother's birthday. Tomorrow will be a free day. I don't write on her birth date or her death date. It's just too difficult.

Day 42 - Transitioning

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 21 September, 2021 at 13:45 Comments comments (0)

When switching from working in one world to another, I've found the transition is easier when I edit the previous chapters of next project before I begin writing. Therefore, having the last third of my historical co-write's revisions as tonight's activity was perfect timing (it also feeds into the feet-dragging that occurs when I'm writing the last chapter, as if slowing down will somehow prevent the inevitable end of this story).

There are a few notes I made as I was reading, things that need to be verified to ensure I've stamped out any inconsistencies, and after I completed the revisions, I spent the rest of the night cycling backward searching for things like... the evidence couldn't portray the hooded man participating in the torture of Catherine Ellis because of his location at the time.

That particular example actually didn't need to be corrected, nor did most of my list, but, like that thought you get when leaving the house that reminds to you to check for the fiftieth time that you have turned off the stove, I'd rather catch it now, than after publication.

Tomorrow I begin the final chapter of the first book in my historical co-write, and I'm finding myself sinking into the melancholy which accompanies that admission of another completion.

Day 41 - Dreaming of Wiltshire

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 20 September, 2021 at 14:15 Comments comments (0)

Formatting on a Sunday night... I can think of no worse torture than being forced to use my least favorite platform all while knowing I have to day job again tomorrow morning.

Because I've done this twice (recently) I did not shut down my Mac until I completed uploading both ebook and paperback on all platforms, which of course meant I didn't have to make any corrections. I'd like to say that was the easiest formatting session I've had, but I don't want to jinx myself, so I'll say I was pleasantly surprised by my speed.

Tomorrow I'll dive back into the final chapters of my historical co-write, but tonight, I'm dreaming of Wiltshire.

Day 40 - For the love of Daphne

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 19 September, 2021 at 18:00 Comments comments (0)

Distraction is not a good thing right now, and the fact that I'm plotting the remainder of An Imperfect Scoundrel while reading A Perfect Deception is irritating. Alana's story isn't next, there are five other projects which need my attention before she can receive it, and yes, I realize she has been patiently waiting, however, Thomas had to wait much longer for his story, and since she broke his heart (albeit with reason), she's going to have to suck it up.

Too quick I found myself done with the revisions, and as I was reading the last line, which hints at future stories, I found myself wanting to read it again. My mother never got to read this story, since she passed away prior to publication. I think she would have loved it as well, she probably would have seen a bit of herself in Daphne.

Tomorrow I'll get the formatting and uploading completed for A Perfect Deception. I'm going to put this book on sale too. This will be the first time the full trilogy has been available at a discount.

Day 39 - Watch out for zombies

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 18 September, 2021 at 17:10 Comments comments (0)

The final book on my revision spree, A Perfect Deception, has been secretly called my favorite book of the series (which is wholly and completely unfair to the other stories... but true).

By this point in the series, I'd expanded the world to include neighbors and friends, and was having a delightful time meeting them again during my revisions. A Perfect Deception features a double love triangle, which is something I'd never done before, and the side effect of this was I ended up with more characters who deserved a happy ending (and a few who don't).

When I reached the halfway point Friday night, I shutdown knowing that I would have this finished and uploaded by Sunday night... unless there's a zombie apocalypse.

Day 38 - Suprise sale

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 17 September, 2021 at 12:30 Comments comments (0)

Inevitably (and consistently) once I saved my formatted files and shut down my Mac, I will discover something I needed to correct. In this case, I forgot to uncheck the "made with Vellum" statement.

First, you'd think I'd learn to stop shutting down my Mac prior to uploading, but shutting down gives me some weird sense of satisfaction, so I continue to do so.

Second, this is not a major correction (because honestly no one cares what formatting program I used), but I do like consistency, so now I'm arguing with myself as to if I want to stay up longer to fix this. Sigh. At least the cat is still awake with me.

Final decision... Stay up longer, upload An Imperfect Engagement to all platforms, and add a surprise sale.


Limited time sale

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 16 September, 2021 at 16:40 Comments comments (0)

Reduced to 99 cents for a limited time!

A Perfect Plan (Wiltshire Chronicles, #1)

An opinionated tomboy must navigate the dangers of society, unaware her brother’s killer is lurking in her midst.

When her brother’s ship sinks off the coast of France, Miss Samantha Hastings surrenders her quiet, country life to manage his affairs. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and the unnerving green eyes of Lord Westwood–her brother’s best friend and her new guardian. 

Benjamin, Lord Westwood, never intended on following through with his rash promise to act as guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister. Upon learning of his best friend’s death, Benjamin's intention was to marry her off to the first acceptable suitor. When he finds himself falling for Samantha instead, Benjamin alights upon the perfect plan: a marriage of convenience.

The plan, however, quickly unravels when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized, and Benjamin is running out of time. Can he save the woman he loves...or will murder ruin his perfect plan?

If you enjoy the mystery and intrigue of Amanda Quick and Lisa Kleypas, dive into this spellbinding series filled with history, romance, and suspense.

*WARNING: You may throw this book across the room... it ends on a cliffhanger.

Click now to catch a killer!

Day 37 - Does no one see it?

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 16 September, 2021 at 13:40 Comments comments (0)

Leaving off in the middle of a book you're enjoying is just downright cruel, especially when the reason you can't stay up reading all night is because you have to adult (which in my case involves responsibilities to the day job).

I left off last night in the middle of the get-to-know you scenes, which is a strange way of describing the six scenes that occur all from Samantha's POV. Their purpose is to give insight into the other characters, since this is a mystery as well as a romance. I ran across a clue I left, which I felt was a glaring sign as to the identity of the accomplice, but no one has ever called me out on it, so I'm leaving it in.

I struggle with this story every time I read it, because I don't want it to suffer from the middle child syndrome. An Imperfect Engagement has some of my favorite scenes from the Wiltshire series, but somehow, I still feel as if it just doesn't get enough love. So, let's hear it for the second book of the series, a story in it's own right!

Tomorrow, I must format.

Day 36 - A Homecoming of sorts

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 15 September, 2021 at 13:40 Comments comments (0)

I originally intended to write a duet when I started An Imperfect Engagement, but the requests for Thomas to receive his own story caused me to rethink that plan. For this reason, An Imperfect Engagement has a duel role of both completing the love story for Samantha and Benjamin, and setting the stage for Thomas' romance, all while carrying the murder mystery element.

This book actually holds the original scene that started the whole series, which is intriguing, since it doesn't actually appear until book two, however, it does fall within the first half (chapter 6 if you're curious).

As I'm reading through the first half of the story, and the image of fluttering ash flurries is refreshed in my mind, I recall writing this scene on the train, my mind creeping down the darkened hallway with Benjamin, his breath caught in his throat as he waits to discover the fate of his true love. I'm sorry I waited so long to return.

Day 35 - Rinse and repeat

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 15 September, 2021 at 1:20 Comments comments (0)

I am not a Mac person. I tried. I'm happy with my PC, but formatting books without a Mac is complicated, and I'm not a fan of complicated. For this reason, a few years ago, I asked Santa for a Mac (yes, I was a good girl), and installed Vellum, a book formatting program. I do like the sound of the Mac keyboard though... Clack...clack...clack. I would love it if my laptop made the same sound (I'm not sure why that sound makes me feel more productive).

However, because I don't use either frequently, formatting takes me longer than other people. But, I do love the look of the program, and that it creates files for all platforms including print.

Check list for the end of night:

- A Perfect Plan formatted

- loaded on all platforms

- sale price activated

Now to repeat the process with An Imperfect Engagement.