Liar, Liar, Tabloid Writer has been in the works for awhile. I've alternately loved it and hated it. Mostly, I hated it because there's a mystery subplot. I'd never tackled a mystery before, and it was a challenge. Enough so that I've sworn off ever writing another. Which probably means I will someday because I noticed years ago that the universe conspires against me whenever I say never.
What made writing a mystery so difficult? Let me count the ways. Clues. Red herrings. Multiple suspects. Figuring out who done it. Figuring out how they done it. Figuring out how my heroine figures out who done it and how. Figuring out how to present all that without telegraphing the who and how to the reader but still playing fair with the clues.
I gotta tell ya, I don't know how mystery writers do it over and over without giving up and moving on to something simpler to write. It took a lot more time than I anticipated to get it right. (At least, I hope I got it right.) It also took a lot more words. With the story weighing in at around 150k words, I realized I might need to turn it into two books. I like that idea, in large part, because it eases my guilt for taking so long to get this story into it's final state. (Or near final. The first half goes to my editor in October.) A year and a half to write a book. That embarrasses me. But if it's two books, well, that doesn't seem so bad.
Without even counting the story itself, there are other ways where the work doubles up when I split it in two. Two titles, two covers, two blurbs, two release days.
The second title was tough. I wanted there to be an obvious connection. I wanted to love the second title as much as the first. I had to accept that that was probably not going to happen because I LOVE
Liar, Liar, Tabloid Writer
I don't think anything could be as good, but I think I've come close with:
Liar, Liar, Heart's Desire.
I don't have a second cover yet, but I have been working on the blurbs. Keep in mind these aren't set in stone yet because I have a tendency to tinker right up to the last moment.
Here's the blurb for Liar, Liar, Tabloid Writer:
Investigative journalist Cleo Morgan’s stories have created Pulitzer buzz, but circumstance push her into a lucrative but career-destroying job writing for a tabloid.
Alejandro Ramirez is blown away by the new star reporter. There's definitely chemistry. Except she thinks she's better than everyone at the tabloid where they work. That grates on him since she's going to be writing stories about aliens and Elvis sightings just like the rest of them.
In spite of the chemistry, she doesn't want to have anything to do with the smug news whore she thinks he is. Except she's already having fantasies about this hot Cuban ex-pat who's showing her the ropes at her new job. Before they have a chance to make this attraction work, Cleo's mother, an ex-Vegas showgirl, is charged with the murder of a Las Vegas casino owner. To clear her mother, Cleo will have to see that Alejandro hasn't sold out, and he will learn that she really is as good as she thinks she is.
And here's the one for Liar, Liar, Heart's Desire:
Cleo Morgan is a liar.
And they’re not little, white liars but big, black whoppers. She’s lying to everyone in her hometown, letting them believe she still works for a reputable paper when, in reality, she’s sold her soul to The Inside Word, a tell-all supermarket tabloid no one wants to admit they read.
She’s lying to Alec Ramirez, the tabloid’s star reporter, who is training her to write their kind of story their way. He doesn’t know the woman who’s been arrested for murder in the story they’re covering is her mother. Or that she’s conspiring with her old boyfriend to steal that story out from under him and using it to buy her way back into her old life.
And she may be lying to herself that leaving Alec behind when she goes will be easy. Because she absolutely, unequivocally, beyond the shadow of any doubt does not want him in her life on a permanent basis.
I'm fairly happy with these blurbs, but there was more work to be done.
Turning the story into two books meant I had to revamp the beginning of the second book because it needs to read like the start of a story but there also needs to be reminders of what happened in the first book in case someone hasn't read that book or if time has passed since they did. But the story shouldn't grind to a halt either while I deliver those reminders. It's a bit of a balancing act but I think I've pulled it off.
By now, I'm hoping you're asking when you can get your hands on Liar, Liar, Tabloid Writer. The answer is that it's scheduled for release November 22nd. You can, however, pre-order it from Amazon now. And even better, it's available at the introductory price of ninety-nine cents because I want my per-existing fans to get the best deal Amazon will allow me to give them. I call it a loyalty bonus. Hopefully, you'll think I've been loyal to you as well by telling a great story.