Latest News

Lots to update you on. First, let me thank all of my readers for taking the time to read my stories and leaving kind reviews. It does funny things to my heart when I see that you like my stories. So, THANK YOU. I wish I could hug all of you! If you adore Justin, Nebraska, and Aaron (Falling For Him Series) as much as I do, please let other readers know. Word of mouth is still the best method for selling books, and I’m no exception.

Second, all four books in my Reclaimed Souls (under my Della Roth alias) have been published on all e-markets. A few sites haven’t updated (notably Kobo and iTunes) so I’ll work on that promptly. My next goal, for this series, is print on demand (bundle) as well as an e-bundle for all stories at an amazing price. Hopefully this will have readers picking up the entire series in one shot. A big thanks to my readers that have already picked up the entire set — piecemeal — and left kind words in the form of reviews and emails. Almost everyone that emails me has something amazingly wonderful to say about Roland. While the story was Rahda’s, Roland captured your hearts. Mine as well. Make sure you pick up the freebies associated with this series. Warning: the freebies are on the steamy (read: you’ll need a cool shower) side. You can find these stories here and here and here.

I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog. Sorry about that. My house flooded a few days after Mother’s Day and we’ve been working on that issue ever since. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty — it still isn’t — but things are slowly getting back to normal and we should have most of the repairs done by the end of next week. Fortunately, my writing productivity hasn’t dipped at all. Something about chaos opens my creative channel. I’ll post a few snippets of a novel I’m 1/2 through right now. Hint: it is in Justin’s world (military romance), though he, Aaron, and Nebraska only play minor supporting roles.

I’m still actively submitting my stories into Short Story magazines and e-zines (like Clarkesworld and Shimmer). Recently I received a very well received rejection from Tor. A positive rejection. I’m almost there. Also, in case you missed one of my earlier posts, I had a short story bought by FictionRiver for one of their upcoming anthologies. The anthology is called Recycled Pulp, edited by John Helfers. My story, called Prism of the Crab Gods, is about a boy who has to deal with a troubled upbringing. I wrote the story for a workshop, which John was present for, and he bought it on the spot. I brought many a reader to tears. Myself included. This anthology will not come out until December 2015. So you have a while before you can read this story. But I’m excited nonetheless.

On to my current work in progress (tentatively titled: Colliding Into You)… based on how far I’m into the story, and how much further I need to go, and editing, etc., I do not suppose this story will be ready for publication until late Fall 2014, or early Winter. The characters, Keira and Dillan (names subject to change!) are instant-roommates due to 1) Keira’s military reassignment to the Pentagon, and 2) Dillan (not in the military) is best friends with Keira’s brother, Jon, and he asks Dillan for a favor. A few things are apparent right away: Keira really doesn’t like Dillan, and Dillan is something of a player/playboy. Here is my opening scene. It’s a draft… so forgive all grammar errors.


 

Keira

“Wow,” a masculine voice says at me from across the living room. Not to me. At me. And he says the word “wow” in two syllables. Wow-Wa. It is my roommate, Dillan. Or, rather, I’m his new roommate. Did he always have to talk so sarcastically? I wait for his next comment. “Keira, whatever the opposite of amazing is, that’s how you look today.”

I look down at what I’m wearing, which is my Army Combat Uniform, or ACUs, for short. My hair is pulled up in a low bun and, in the interest of time, I’m wearing pretty much zero make-up. I look exactly like what a twenty-seven year old sergeant in the Army is supposed to look like: like every other female sergeant in the Army.

I’m fairly close to being late for my first day at the Pentagon and the last thing I need is for the man-slut I’m rooming with to harass me. I don’t care that he’s my brother’s best friend, or that I’ve only heard great things about him, or that his abs are to-die-for and that looking at him is like looking directly at the sun.

Look away, Keira! Those abs will totally blind you.

The only reason I’m here is because my brother, Jon, asked Dillan to let me stay here while Jon is deployed to Bahrain. Plus, I needed a quick place to live once I realized the Army had reassigned me to Washington, DC.

Dillan, shirtless and drying his hair, stands just outside his bedroom door. His wide-open bedroom door. Beyond him I can see a naked female form sleeping on his bed. She’s blond, leggy, and those are totally fake breasts.

I barely know my roommate and already don’t like him. I’m glad that the living room separates our two bedrooms. I seriously don’t want to hear sounds coming from his room at night. Not after what I heard yesterday.

I’m tired of trying to not look at Dillan, so I glance out the window. I still cannot believe that I’m living in a high-rise apartment with an amazing view of the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. Too bad it came with a man-slut.

I try to figure out what Dillan’s talking about when his lips curve in a victorious manner. I’ve been silent too long after the insult.

“What?” I ask, tilting my head. “Are you not used to women being clothed in front of you? Perhaps you’re not exactly sure how buttons and all those crazy little fastening thingies work? Listen, can we insult each other later? I’ve got to catch the metro.”

He grins as he reaches for a shirt of his own, a blue collared shirt, and purposefully buttons it up slowly, as if to illustrate that, yes, he knows how to dress himself. What an accomplishment, I think. Whatever will he do next? Use his finger to pick his nose?

I smile at the juvenile thought.

Dillan crosses the distance between us as he tucks the shirt into tailored pants. He cleans up nicely. I know he isn’t some bum. He works at a prestigious firm as some big-wig’s senior executive assistant. Let me clarify. That big-wig boss is a woman. And if I’ve learned anything about Dillan Pope in the two days I’ve been his roommate and all the stories Jon has told me over the last few years, it’s that Dillan can charm anyone.
Myself excluded, of course. I find something unattractive about overly-attractive men. I’ve always been this way.

My roommate clears his throat as if he has some big announcement. I roll my eyes and look at my watch. Hint, hint, buddy.

“I was just going to say that you looked much better this morning after you came in from your run,” he says in a low voice. I study his chiseled jaw, his light green eyes, and his dark hair. Not that I was smelling him or anything, but he smells like Sandalwood.

My run? That was two hours ago. “Can you please make sense, Devon?”

“It’s Dillan, but you already knew that. Don’t act like I don’t affect you. I mean,” he shrugs, “I really don’t care one way or the other. You’re not my type.” He slips on his shoes and folds his suit jacket over his arm and turns to go. “But, for the record, Sergeant Holtslander,” he says with a smirk. “I certainly like the little running outfit a whole hell of a lot better than whatever that”—he motions his hands up and down—“shapeless uniform is called.”

He winks as he leaves the apartment.

I stare at the closed door and wonder, not for the first time in the last thirty-six hours, what have I gotten myself into?


Before I go, I’ll share a photo (a selfie, really) of me and my son right after he became a Wolf in our Cub Scout pack. At the end of the day, I’m a mom. A proud mom. And I’m so blessed that I cannot express it adequately. Until next time, my friends… – Kelly –

Me and the Kiddo

Me and the Kiddo

 

Interview with Kelly

Interview with Kelly Washington

 

How do you discover the ebooks you read?

 

I’ll ask my friends and my family and my co-workers what they’ve read lately. I’ve gotten many great recommendations this way. Luckily for me, my sister is a huge reader and we have the same tastes, so she often recommends books.

The second way I discover books is through magazine book sections – People Magazine being first and foremost. However, a lot of what they review is mainstream, traditionally published novels and non-fictions books. Unless it really appeals to me, generally I will not pick up a novel that has been over-reviewed.

The third way is GoodReads. I’ll preview author pages, covers, and other “lists” on the GoodReads pages and discover a lot of great works. I think that GoodReads is hot in the young adult market and getting it right.

 

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

 

I might have been ten. I remember writing a Gothic tale about a brother and sister. I want to say that they went to visit a distant relative who, as it so happens, lived in an old, castle-type house. I’m sure ghosts and creepy family members showed up, but, in truth, I don’t remember much other than that.

 

What is your writing process?

 

I have a day job (I work for the U.S. Army and I’m also a Veteran), so I only write on Saturdays.

I’ll have a general idea of how a story starts and how it ends, but everything in the middle is ad-hoc. What I mean by that is that I’ll sit in my chair and write for twelve hours straight (no joke) and throw as much stuff as I can in front of my characters. As long as I have goal in mind, I’ll get them there, but, in general, it might not be pretty. Now, this doesn’t necessarily apply to my erotic romances. The only thing I want to get in the way is their partner’s body parts. 🙂

 

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

 

Oh, yes. My mother is an avid romance reader. Think bodice-ripping romance books! I grew up with thousands of these books in the house. The first story that I read that I remember and that had an impact on me was one of those “rape” romance books where the woman (gorgeous, but down on her luck or mistreated by a relative) happens to be near a navy dock at the wrong time and spotted by a handsome Captain or some such character. Naturally the man mistakes her for a prostitute and proceeds to “take her by force” only to realize–too late!!–that she’s a virgin. How or why she forgives him and falls in love with the man is beyond me, but it was one of these books that I read at, maybe eleven, and it’s twisted my mind ever since.

 

How do you approach cover design?

 

Up until recently I was rather clueless. I knew a good cover when I saw one, but creating one was another story. I love looking at physical book covers — YA has some of the best covers out there, hands down — and searching GoodReads and other online retailers for covers in my genre. I do create my own covers using Pixelmator and they’ve turned out pretty good, I think. I always have the customer in mind. The cover does say a lot about a book and it needs to have the right colors, fonts, and appeal. Romance covers, in general, will have a couple on them (in an embrace) and science fiction covers can vary wildly. My latest series (Reclaimed Souls) is a mash-up of romance, action-adventure, fantasy, and science fiction. So I went more in the fantasy, science fiction direction versus a couple on the cover.

 

What are your five favorite books, and why? (I’ve embedded links to the versions that I own and read)

 

1) Jane Eyre. I think I’ve read this book almost a dozen times. It never gets old. At heart, I’m a Gothic Girl. There’s always a wife in the attic. Always!

 

2) Their Eyes Were Watching God. An amazing, amazing book – if you can get past the dialog. The prose in this book is so stunning, so beautiful, that I wish I could find another like it.

 

3) Emma. Cute, clever, romance. It’s easy to read. Plus, it’s funny.

 

4) Pride and Prejudice. I’m sure you’re sensing a theme with Jane Austen here. 🙂 I just think this story still resonates with every generation.

 

5) Persuasion. This should probably be #1 above because the letter that Captain Wentworth writes to Anne always brings tears to my eyes.

 

What do you read for pleasure?

 

Romance, hands down. Mary Balogh, Joanna Bourne, Jane Austen, and other Regency-era romances where the heroine and hero find ways to thwart Regency society rules and fall in love. Romance authors write some of the funniest dialog out there. Also, I like to read stories about “mismatch” couples. Servant falls in love with the titled lord. Billionaire falls for the janitor. I suppose, when it comes down to it, I like to see how their differences prove to be what makes their love work out.

 

What is your e-reading device of choice?

 

Kindle

 

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?

I haven’t marketed it, but mostly because I do not have the resources to do so. So, what do I do? I write the next story… and hope that my audience grows.

 

Describe your desk

 

Mostly clean. I use a Mac laptop with an additional (larger) monitor, keyboard, and mouse attached. My desk is in the dining room. The only luxury I have is a nice chair. Since my butt sits in this chair for up to fourteen hours, I had to get a good chair. Oh, I also have a little heater near my feet. My feet are always cold.I listen to music (anything from Thirty Seconds to Mars, REM, Flook, Tom Petty, to Garbage) while I write. Next to my monitor is a picture of my son’s first grade picture. His two front teeth are huge right now, but it is adorable and I love looking at him when he isn’t already in the room distracting me (which happens a lot).

What do your fans mean to you?

Everything. There would be no reason for me to write unless someone out there reads my words. Once I’ve written something and published it, it’s no longer mine. It becomes someone else’s thoughts, feelings, laughter, tears. I cannot tell my readers how to feel about the book or even what it means. Readers will read it the way they want to, feel the way they want to, and either like it, or not. In the same vein, I will always write what I would want to read. I do not follow trends or fads. One of the stories that I’ve written (A SINFUL WIFE) is, in my opinion, one of my best stories – ever. But it wasn’t easy to place in a “virtual” bookshelf because it wasn’t a clear-cut genre. So I love it when a reader picks it up and tells me that it was an odd, but good story. I like those emails.

What are you working on next?

I have a long list of short stories that I need to get to. Some of them are odd, which might have a hard time finding a home, so I might save them for a collection of short stories. Also, I have two novellas that require editing, so I’ll be working on those in early 2014.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

Well, I have a day job, so I have to get out of bed everyday to go to work. 🙂 But, my family inspires me and I want to be a great mom to my son and a great wife to my husband. It would be tough to tell the kiddo that he has to go to school if I’m a slow-poke in the mornings. Also, coffee. Coffee inspires me to get out of bed each morning.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

Well, Doctor Who is about to boot-up again; so I know that will keep us busy on Saturday nights. In general, we like to camp and hike.