I've met some really fantastic authors and I often recommend books by writers who I think are talented and nice people, but I don't often enough say how much I respect anyone who sits down and writes a 80,000 word manuscript and has the guts to put it out there.
It is hard. Writing is not for the weak. It's more than just penning an interesting story. You edit, you edit some more, you work with book designers, marketing people, publicists, publishers, editors, and then you put yourself out there to promote the thing. I'm leaving tons of grueling details out, but for the sake of this post not sounding like I'm on yet another soapbox, let's just leave it as - WRITING IS HARD.
So for all of the people who are kind enough to send me emails and ask for advice, I am soooo happy to give it. I love to share my experiences and what small amount of wisdom I may have in the industry. I also will warn you, it takes time. It is difficult work, not just for your brain, not just for your back as you slump over your computer chair, not just for your hair as you pull it out, but for your mental health as well. Grow a thick skin. Love what you do and love what you write, don't second guess yourself and don't let haters make you feel anything less than proud of your accomplishment.
Mount Vernon is very much a real place. It is also where I live. Why choose this place as the setting of the Lily Drake books? I've gotten asked this question dozens of times, especially from other residents of my hometown.
I think when you live somewhere for so long, it begins to lose some of the charm that drew you to the place initially. If you have always lived in the same town, possibly it never held that charm at all because you took the lovely place you call home for granted. I, myself, have committed this same offense. Originally I am from a small town in Kentucky, and I never realized what a wonderful place it actually was until I moved away.
Getting back to my point, I believe so many people who are lucky enough to call Mount Vernon home also take what a cute little town this is for granted. I chose to live here. The gorgeous old homes along East High Street, the beautifully renovated old buildings on Main and the friendly people make Mount Vernon an incredible place to hang your hat. Maybe that is why I seem to be obsessed with buying real estate in this town. How can you walk away from a 160 year old home with high ceilings and gorgeous wood trim? This town is beautiful.
The inspiration for so many of the places mentioned in the book are actual Mount Vernon landmarks. The restaurants, the theaters, the mansion - all quite real. Mount Vernon provides an environment rich in aesthetics for someone with an overactive imagination.
Then we jump from the place I currently reside, to the place that I will someday soon. New Orleans, more specifically, The French Quarter.
Women always say that when you find the perfect wedding dress, you'll know it immediately. I never felt that way about a dress, but I have about a town. New Orleans is my perfect fit. From the moment I stepped foot in the quarter, I knew I was in love.
There is no other place quite like it. The smells, the sounds, the look of it - all unique. I could blather on and on about this place, butI think I have gotten my point across. I didn't just write yet another vampire book that was set in NOLA. My vampires are there because I want to be there. And someday soon, I will.
Triple D Dude Ranch
By Beverly Ovalle
Published by Secret Cravings Publishing
October 4, 2014
One look ignites a smolder between Dan and Blaire, one touch sparks a wildfire that burns out of control, hotter than the Texas sun.
Blaire is a freelance photographer on assignment. She is heading home to Texas, armed with her camera to do a photo feature for the Tribune. Taking photos of the dude ranch, she gets an eyeful of an uninhibited cowboy through her lens. The summer heat of Texas has nothing on the heat he generates in her.
Dan was expecting a photographer but not the sexy urban cowgirl that arrived. He knew it was hot out, he just hadn’t expected the hot and sexy woman to make him burn the minute he caught sight of her. One look and he had to quench this fire inside.
One touch between Dan and Blaire sparks a wildfire that burns hotter than the Texas summer and is just as hard to put out.
Graduation had her moving to Chicago. After a couple of years of living and working there, she realized that Chicago couldn’t give her the life she thought she’d wanted. What she wanted was right here in Texas, so when she got this assignment she packed her bags, subletted her apartment, and headed home.
The GPS announced she was there. Looking around, Blaire spotted the driveway; it was hard to miss. The wrought iron arch over the drive simply proclaimed Triple D Dude Ranch. She frowned. The drive was just as dusty as the road and there was not a hotel in sight.
Sighing, Blaire put on her signal and pulled over. She stopped and grabbed her camera. A picture of the arch, with the wrought iron words showcasing the name, would be a perfect shot. Blaire opened her door and groaned as the leather made a sucking sound as she peeled herself off. Maybe she shouldn’t have shucked her panties at that last stop. She hadn’t thought about peeling herself off the leather seats, only how infernally hot the day was. Stepping out, she looked both ways before she minced to the opposite side of the road. The heels of the unfamiliar and recently purchased cowboy boots and the long drive had made her a bit wobbly.
Blaire lifted her camera, uncovering the lens and holding the cap in her hand. No dust on the lens, she was glad to see. It wouldn’t have surprised her at all if there were. She felt like every crevice of her body had grit in it. Her cute Western outfit might never be the same. She felt wilted from head to toe. Lining up the arch in her lens, Blaire cursed as she dropped the lens cap on the ground. One of these days she’d remember to attach it with the string to the camera itself.
“Damn it!” Bending over from the waist, she picked up the cap from the ground; after all, it was a good opportunity to do one of her daily stretches. Blaire tucked it in the pocket on the front of her cute little denim skirt as she stood, like she should have in the first place.
Lining up the arch once again, Blaire could see that the dust continued, the drive a little smoother than the road coming in. Shaking her head, she snapped a picture. Moving around, she tried to capture it from different angles. She could always delete the ones that didn’t work.
Finishing, Blaire decided she’d had enough of the arch. There had to be at least one good one. She started back to the car when she heard a noise and whirled around.
Her breath caught and she instinctively lifted the camera for a shot. Holy hotness! That was a real cowboy. Her eyes widened as she looked through the lens, quickly snapping a picture.
Secret Cravings Publishing: