Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal

Laurel Heights By Denise Moncrief

Friday, September 26, 2014


Many years ago, longer than I am going to admit, I wrote my first “novel”. Seventeen pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last Harlequin romance I’d read. About ten years ago, I began writing with the goal of publication. Between that time, and the moment I received my first contract offer in 2012, I had written eighteen completed manuscripts in very, very rough draft form. Since then, six of those titles have been published. There are still quite a few waiting on the hard drive of my computer, longing to be published. So you see, I could keep polishing manuscripts for a very long time and always have something ready to publish.

So what’s my problem? Well, polishing those old manuscripts and publishing them is a good thing, but I’m a writer. If I can’t write, I might as well not breathe, so even though I could work on the rest of those completed manuscripts for the rest of my life, my muse keeps urging me to write something fresh.

Awhile back I started a series on my blog titled Conversations With My Muse. I’m going to share with you one of those conversations that I haven’t published to Suspense, She Writes yet. It goes something like this:

MUSE: What are you doing, writer?

*I love it when it calls me writer. I call it “it” because I’m not really sure if it has a gender. All I know is that it is ugly.*

ME: Why are you bothering me? Can’t you see I’m writing?

MUSE: You are not writing. *It sounds so smug.*

ME: Uh, yeah I am. Coffee. Chocolate. Mac Book. Brain boiling. Fingers tapping. I’m writing.

MUSE: That’s not writing. That’s editing. You should know the difference by now. Haven’t you done both in your so-called career?

*Muse is right. I have been an editor for two different publishers as well as doing some freelance work.*

ME: No need to get insulting, muse.

MUSE: All I’m saying is you should be writing something new. Something fresh. Not reworking that old stuff. Move on, woman. I was just thinking you should—

ME: Oh, no you don’t. No more new ideas. My brain can’t handle that right now. I’m working a deadline. I HAVE to get the sequel to Laurel Heights finished, like last week.

What’s your problem? You know how readers are. You have to feed them every once in a while or they get testy.

*Muse sniffs.*

MUSE: No, I don’t know how readers are. You won’t let me talk to them. You say I’m too loud and obnoxious to meet your readers.

ME: No, you’re too crude, rude, and disgusting.

MUSE: Now, who’s being insulting? Maybe I won’t give you any more ideas...ever.

*Muse sticks out its tongue.*

ME: Oh God, you can be so immature. Okay, so spill it. What’s this idea of yours that just can’t wait?

MUSE: Okay, so there’s this woman who wakes up in someone else’s body—

ME: Published it already. Deceptions Of the Heart. Next.

MUSE: Ex-country singer hiding out at a dude ranch—

ME: Twin Rivers. Launches in October. You gotta do better than that.

MUSE: Okay, I got it. A fugitive uses the aftermath of a hurricane as an opportunity to change her identity and escape the US Marshal that’s trying to capture her.

ME: *smirking* Crisis of Identity. Are you running out of fresh ideas? Hum, muse?

*I think I see beads on sweat on its forehead.*

MUSE: A woman can’t remember why her crazy ex-husband is stalking her?

ME: Really? Can’t you give me something a little higher concept than that?

MUSE: Okay, writer, you’ve given me no choice but to get down and dirty.

*Muse whispers in writer’s ear.*

Nope, not telling you what it said. If you’d like to read one of my muse’s really good ideas, try reading Laurel Heights. My latest book launches September 25th.

Here’s the blurb:

A dark cloud of deceit hovers over her family tree...
Left an estate by an aunt she’s never met, Laurel Standridge takes possession of Laurel Heights, hoping it will be the safe haven she needs to recuperate from her ill-fated relationship with Rand Peterson. Secrets long buried rise to the surface when her cousin James is murdered and dumped on the highway just outside the gates of Laurel Heights.

Her past trails her to the mountains of Arkansas...

Caught in an obligation Chase Peterson feels he cannot ignore, he agrees to help his brother Rand take back the property he believes Laurel stole from him, but Chase remains at Laurel Heights after he discovers Laurel took nothing of Rand’s away with her except nightmares, fading bruises, and a broken rib.

Unexplained disturbances shatter her hopes of a normal life...

Are the strange bumps, thumps, and bangs reverberating through the night caused by the murderer of Laurel’s cousin James, someone Rand has sent to exact his revenge, or a disturbed soul existing in another dimension, trying to communicate with the living? Drawn together by the intrigue surrounding Laurel Heights, Chase and Laurel become hopelessly entangled in a relationship that goes deeper than lust. Can their love survive the haunting of Laurel Heights?

I’m giving away an ebook copy of Laurel Heights to one lucky comment on this post chosen at random by RomCom.