by Jeanne Adams
<It's LAUNCH DAY for DEADLY LITTLE LIES!!!
And yes, I AM shouting. Grins. I'm going to apologize right up front for shouting and happy dancing, and being just a liiiittttle bit immodest.
This would be the reason: Deadly Little Lies was the book that almost wasn't. It was written during one of the darker periods in my life as my father's health was failing, and I had a difficult time getting it completed.
(BTW, Thank you again, to all the Banditas and BB's who helped me through all that. Ya'll quite simply rock!)
Of course, once I got it done, I had to edit all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth out of it before I turned it in. There was a LOT of that. I mean, a LOT.
And, ya'know, heroes in modern stories just shouldn't gnash their teeth. Really. Bad for their teeth, right? Grins. And my hero, Davros, called Dav, my dashing Greek shipping magnate, has beautiful teeth. I couldn't endanger those pearly whites!
Then in edits, I had to be sure I had the timeline straight (Oy!) and, when I made Dav, and Carrie, the heroine, go down some dark, spooky and very forgotten tunnels, I had to be sure I brought them back out the SAME WAY. (EEK!)
I actually had to make a map of the tunnels so that I was sure I had done it right. Good thing I like to draw because MAN was that complicated! Yikes!
For those of you who write, I know you feel my pain, right? Right? Please say you do, and if you don't lie, and make me feel better, okay?
For those readers who aren't also writers, this is how it goes sometimes. You feel like you're pulling the book out of your imagination a struggling word at a time. Ex-haust-ing.
Then you turn it in. And you wait. And you get nervous. And you decide it's the absolute worst book you ever wrote and you're going to die of mortification when it comes out and bombs and....and...and....
My only comfort was the memory of hearing La Nora (Roberts) say that sometimes, in the middle of the book, she'll call a friend and complain that she's never written such terrible schlock in her life, and it's the worst pile of (expletive deleted) she's ever seen.
Yeah, but she's La Nora, my errant thoughts would remind me. So I would resume my pacing.
I considered taking up serious drinking as a contact sport.
Grins. But I really like to drink to CELEBRATE, so.....
Much to my (immense) delight, and relief, DEADLY LITTLE LIES received a TOP PICK from Romantic Times Magazine. The reviewer wrote:
"Non -stop action and heart-stopping danger make this book unputdownable!"
Now, I don't know about you, but unputdownable sounds pretty darn good. I don't know if it's a real word, but I don't care. Now you can understand my relief. Other reviewers have said they stayed up late to finish it in one gulp.
WHEW!!! Thank heavens.
But my insomnia had actually started early on, in the production stage, after the "get the timeline straight" call from my editor. Did you know that authors do cover quotes? I'm sure you read those. At least all of us newer authors HOPE you read them. If you don't read them, please don't tell me.
If you do....what do you think of them? Do you ever take a look at a book based on the cover quote?
Oh, and to give you further insight into my insecurity, you realize that those much-more-famous-than-me authors actually have to read the book, ahead of time, and quote on it?
As I approached that stage, I was all but ready to throw in the writing towel. I was sure my colleagues would laugh...or worse, pity my poor efforts. I was a flat, wrung out mess.
One of my all-time favorite NYTimes Bestselling authors, Dianna Love, is going to here in the Lair in a week or so. She's written innumerable fabulous books, both on her own and with Sherrilyn Kenyon. One of my all-time favorites of hers is Blood Trinity, the first in the Belador Series.
So you can imagine that I nearly keeled over and died when she gave me a quote for the cover of Deadly Little Lies, calling it: "...an edge of your seat read."
(That's Dianna in one of her fabulous Blood Trinity t-shirts, with a fan)
Oh, lawdy, where's my celebratory cocktail? Really, really, relieved. Grateful, and relieved. You see, I had the worst time re-reading this book for edits. Terrible. Usually I sail through all of that. Not. This. Time. So I had to send this book to my colleagues before I gave it a last edit.
So, imagine my even greater surprise when the 2011 RWA Lifetime Achievement Winner, the inestimable Sharon Sala offered to give me a quote. I felt like both the book and I were a hot mess, but Sharon said I was worried about nothing. She said there was "...sizzle on every page."
SO, now, more than with any other book, I'm in the mood to really celebrate a LAUNCH DAY!!!
Sven! Bring the special Hurricane Earthquake Punch!!! (Hey, we have to also celebrate the fact that the power stayed on in the Lair, in the Writing Caves, and at my house because several of us have Sept. 1 deadlines! And no earthquake damage!)
Paolo!! Bring the hors d'oeuvres! We need sustenance for our Launch Partying.
Demetrius!! Bring the torches! Someone needs to light up these caves....which leads me to giving you a little excerpt. Grins. Dav, the hero, is claustrophobic. His enemy had locked him, and his lady-love in an underground cell. They have to figure a way out....they find a door and...
Dav took a deep breath and started into the tunnel. The light wobbled, then steadied and he could feel the warmth of Carrie's presence at his back. Two steps in, she wrapped her fingers in the loop of his belt. Somehow, the contact was reassuring, bracing. The palpable connection made the dark less horrifying.
Much later, they're both despairing....
"I want to keep going, she insisted. What if there's a way out, just beyond this?" She stopped suddenly and he heard her draw in a shaky breath. "Oh, my God, Dav, what if it's a dead end?"
"Carrie," he kept his voice firm in the face of her rising panic. "I will not allow you to die. I have told you this, yes?" We will find a way out. Now, come and sit down, rest. You can tell me your secrets and I will tell you mine."
In spite of his own fears, Dav makes sure Carrie feels safe. He's really a wonderful hero, without being "too perfect to live" like some heroes are. He gets hurt, bruised, banged up, has a panic attack about being underground (his father used to lock him up as punishment - something to panic about!), and yet, he keeps himself level for her sake. He's kind of like a 21st Century, Greek Indiana Jones in a way.
Although, he's really more Thomas Crown than a McGyver type, but he's smart and he can figure it out.
Carrie on the other hand, is more like McGyver. She's the one with the pocket knife that has 27 tools. She's the one who figures out an alternative exit.
She's more like Annie Walker on Covert Affairs, without being a spy. Or maybe a bit more like the Julia Roberts character, Maggie Carpenter, in Runaway Bride, she is capable, competent, and mechanically inclined, but she's got some scars that keep her wary.
If you read DEADLY LITTLE SECRETS last year, you'll have already met both Davros "Dav" Gianakopulos and Carrie McCray. I hope you liked them and will want to read their story in DEADLY LITTLE LIES.
In my regular form and fashion, things blow up. There's a fairly high body count. Grins. Oh, and did I mention a LOT of twists and turns?
This would be why you need the torches. Ha!
So, grab a flashlight, pen light, mag light or torch, get a Bloody Mary, or a Margarita, or a glass of milk and some of Sven's famous chocolate chip cookies (He stole the recipe from Joanie T - YUM!!!!), and grab a chair and start reading.
Then....riddle me this, spelunkers....
Are you more like Bond or McGyver? Annie Walker (Covert Affairs) or Maggie Carpenter (Runaway Bride)?
What about your Significant Other? Or if you don't have one at the moment, which type do you prefer? The polished, lethal weapon-type like Bond, or the rougher-hewn, all-purpose, get-you-out-of-any-jam like McGyver?
Or in more recent vernacular, are you more like Michael Weston (plan it, execute it) from Burn Notice, or Hank (use what's at hand, make it work) from Royal Pains? And which do you prefer?
Don't even get me started on Neil, the guy from White Collar.....whew!!!
Let's get this party STARRRRRRRTED!!!! Music! Lights!!! Cookies!!! Drinks!!!