There once was an aspiring author who wrote five-and-a-half manuscripts in a romantic suspense series that she eventually called the “Tough Love series.” As was typical when an idea formed in this author’s head, secondary characters from one book spurred story ideas for another book and then another, hence the five-and-a-half books, written over the course of only a few months. (She was laid off from her day job at the time, which provided ample time for writing.)
With three of the books completed in rough draft format, the author began querying, hoping a big bad publisher with lots of clout would realize how fabulous this series was.
At the same time, this author had discovered Twitter, and on Twitter were these “pitch wars,” where you post a line or two from your book, and if a publisher likes it, they, well, “like” it, and then you reach out and send them your manuscript and then start praying and praying and praying that this is finally your big break.
So this particular aspiring author checked the first three manuscripts of this series she’d been working on and found what she thought was a clever line from not the first book, but the second. So she put it out there in Twitter-land.
And a publisher liked it.
Let me repeat: A. Publisher. Liked. It.
Naked Truth, which was supposed to be the second book in the Tough Love series, was published through Crimson Romance on June 30, 2014. That was followed by Undercover Heat on January 19, 2015, and Delicious Deception on August 3, 2015. When this author sent the fourth book to the acquiring editor at Crimson Romance, they turned it down, and since this author had already started to self-publish at that time, she decided not to offer any more books to publishers, because keeping all her royalties made a hella lot more sense than sharing with someone else, especially since she was making enough by that point to cover the costs of covers and editing.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, that author is me. This is the short version of the creation of my Tough Love series. And the reason I’m sharing this info is because I have now gained my rights for the series from the publisher, so that I can self-publish what was my debut as a published author.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been re-reading the books in the series, updating a few things, cleaning up the writing that has obviously improved over the last five years (although I will say, these books were well-edited from the get-go!). This process has made me realize a few things…
- My writing has changed. Improvement is obvious. It better happen. If a writer doesn’t improve, well…But aside from improvement, my style is different now. I definitely included a lot more sex five years ago. These books are heavy on plot, but also heavy on steam. I’ve noticed recently, my books have been heavy on plot and the steam has been coming more slowly. There’s more anticipation and buildup now, whereas five years ago, my characters most definitely dove into the sack as quickly as they could.
- I still really like this series. A lot. Of the three, I love Undercover Heat the most, but I adore all the characters from all the books, and I was a little bit sad when I finished Delicious Deception and realized I had to say goodbye to these old friends…again.
- That made me realize that I cannot wait to (re)share this series with you all! There’s a strong likelihood that you haven’t read it, because once Crimson was acquired by a much larger publisher a few years ago, their titles basically quit getting marketed. They were also published at a higher price-point than I usually set my books. And since I had plenty of self-published titles to market to you all, I didn’t spend much time pushing these books that were going to make someone else money and not me.
- Even though I’m so excited to get these babies back out there for the world to read, it looks like it will be October before they get published. There are a lot of factors that went into this decision. First and foremost, I have to wait for the current publisher to take them off sale everywhere. Even though I have my rights reversal letters in hand, it takes time for distributors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.) to pull the original copies. And since these were available in print and ebook format, I imagine that only increases the amount of time it takes. Additionally, I already have a new release scheduled for September (the fourth book in my Taming the Dragon series, for those of you interested, comes out on September 24!), and I’ve run myself ragged trying to do too much promotion at one time in the past, and I learned my lesson. Thus, October it is!
- Re-reading these three books has spurred ideas for other characters who play roles in these stories. Naked Truth starts at Cullen and Sabrina’s wedding, and they are characters from the original first book in the series, which I never published. I don’t know why I didn’t, other than the decision to try to sell Naked Truth to the publisher instead of that one. So I’m definitely going to dig out their manuscript and see if it’s worthy of publication, too. Additionally, there’s a character named Court from Undercover Heat who I’d forgotten how much I adored, and I know I have at least a half-written book for him, too. And then there’s Connor’s sister from Delicious Deception. (It was her story that was rejected by the publisher, but I have an idea for tweaking it that I think will make all the difference in the world!)
- What’s really cool about this (to me) is that it has stirred that creative pot in my head and now I’m excited about writing more romantic suspense! It’s been a few years since I’ve written in this genre. I’ve been focused on paranormal and romcom, because that’s where my head has been. And honestly, I think that initial rejection, after the publisher accepted three other books from me, got in my head and maybe caused a little bit of writer’s block for that genre. But I’m back now, baby!
So get ready. Stay tuned for…
New covers! Ohmigod, I love what my cover artist is doing with the covers! I can’t wait to share!
Teasers. I love the teasers. When a scene makes me laugh out loud, I immediately want to share with the world!
And, eventually, links to grab the books, so you too care share my love of this series.
Oh, and if you aren’t following me on Facebook, that’s the best place to get all this info: TAMI LUND AUTHOR PAGE.
Talk to you soon!
Tami Lund is an author who writes romance in various sub-genres, including paranormal, romcom, and (once again) romantic suspense! Here’s her website: https://tamilund.com/