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Alyssa Drake Novels

Steamy Romance with a Twist

Journey into the mind of a writer on deadline...


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Day 70 - An Imperfect Bargain

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 19 October, 2021 at 23:35 Comments comments (0)

Formatting. My old nemesis. I did not turn off my laptop this time when I completed the format for An Imperfect Bargain (ironically I didn't need to leave it on, because I had zero corrections to do to the formatted file, but I digress).

The most significant change to this story was a tiny tweak which moved the location of Ceresus closer to England. Ceresus is a fictional location that is a pirate hideout (think Tortuga), but it reappears in my contemporary series as a tiny island nation where the subjects want to murder their queen. (That was your Easter egg warning.)

An Imperfect Bargain is free and available to anyone who would like to experience Wiltshire without the commitment of the series. You can download it from my website =>

Happy reading!

Day 69 - Tying it all together

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 18 October, 2021 at 18:25 Comments comments (0)

When I wrote An Imperfect Bargain, I hadn't planned to tie it back into the series, and was originally going to use it as an introduction into the Wiltshire world. However, when I wrote the first half of A Perfect Scoundrel (Alana's pirate adventure, which is due out in 2022), I connected the two stories by having the first mate, Mr. Shaw, become the hero of the second book (I also used the same ship and several of the same crew members in both stories).

Although I'm discussing future planning now, the completion of the back half of A Perfect Scoundrel will show the return of the main characters from An Imperfect Bargain (confirming their happily ever after), as well as connect this story to A Perfect Recluse (which is Alana's older brother Patrick's story). Yes, this is a lot of planning, but it's so much fun to see your favorite characters pop up across a series, so I'm undertaking this feat (you should see the character bible).

In the meantime, I've completed revising An Imperfect Bargain, and will format tomorrow, then upload as a freebie for all to grab (I'll put the link up tomorrow).

Day 68 - Missing my voice

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 17 October, 2021 at 13:30 Comments comments (0)

You'd think by now I would stop using the words "quick edit" because every time I think that, it turns into a project. Deep breath.

My steamy historical short story, An Imperfect Bargain, was originally written to be part of a pirate anthology of short stories. At the time the edits came back from the publisher of the set, my mother passed away. Instead of holding up the set, I approved her changes and allowed the story to be published without reading them. Since I have the rights, I decided to share this short story with everyone, but I wanted to do a quick readthrough.


As I dove in, I realized the story didn't sound like me. Since I'd accepted the edits without reading them, I had inadvertently allowed the editor to dull my voice. (insert mild curse word)

So, my one day project becomes two, because now I have to put myself back in. At least I don't have any haystacks to worry about.

Day 67 - Pre-editing (is that a word)

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 16 October, 2021 at 19:15 Comments comments (0)

Remember what I said about editing before sending anything to the editor? Yes? Good, because that's what I'm doing tonight (still better than formatting, but not by much).

I put The 10th Kingdom film on while I was booting up my laptop (the movie is a little over six hours I believe, however, I only plan to work through the first part). I don't mind a bit of background noise while revising (writing on the other hand is a different story), but in this case, campy, twisted fairytale romance sounded perfect.

Since it's Friday night, I can work later than I normally would, and I completed the edits (on episode 2). I'll reach out to my editor tomorrow and send her the file. However, while I'm waiting for the return of Departed, I'm going to do a revision of my other free story, An Imperfect Bargain (historical romance). This does happen to be on my list of stuff, and though it's not as high as some of the other things, I do need to get back into that world, and this seems like a two birds, one stone kind of moment.

Day 66 - Connecting it all

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 15 October, 2021 at 18:55 Comments comments (0)

The final bridge section between Devoured and Petrified was written almost as if it was the end of the story, despite having the final tale follow it. I wanted the reader to say good-bye to Myra (don't worry, I didn't kill her) and her new family, before ending with Petrified.

I had two directions to go with this relationship, either sisterhood or motherhood, and since Myra has been denied happiness for a good portion of her young life, it seemed only fair to give her three mothers (I would have asked Julie if she wanted to adopt Myra as well, but it's impossible, given her current state).

However, it's time to say good-bye to the island, because I have other projects waiting. I hope to return soon, but after tomorrow's final edit, I cannot say when that will be.

Day 65 - A fortuitous accident

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 14 October, 2021 at 16:25 Comments comments (0)

Knowing that Petrified will be the last story in this collection, I skipped the final introduction and dove into the story. Interestingly, this is the only tale that originally didn't take place on Firefly Island, nor do the characters have any magical ability, with the exception of the Wendigo.

So, how do I take a horror story set in the snow, and transplant it to an island? I actually solved that problem for myself in Departed. The upcoming free short story mentions a freak snow storm that blanketed the north end of the island. At the time I wrote it, I hadn't considered that line would become an intrical part of Petrified, but it did, and I was able to tweak Petrified enough to change the local to Firefly Island.

Woohoo! Celebrating small victories.

I just have one more intro section, and then a final edit before this collection heads off to the editor (yup, even projects like this, that have had multiple eyes on it, go through the editing process again). Because, none of us are perfect.

Day 64 - An admission

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 13 October, 2021 at 12:25 Comments comments (0)

I went into tonight with the explicit goal of completing the Devoured revision, which has carried into day two. I should have finished this yesterday, and it annoys me that I'm spending a second day on edits. It also concerns me, because the deadline to get this collection to my editor is rapidly approaching, and I haven't written Reflected yet.

And here is that moment when you have to admit to yourself that your current abilities do not match your goals. I made the difficult decision to remove Reflected from this collection and slot it for a future story in the Firefly Island world. That leaves two options for the story. I can leave it as is and include it in my next horror collection (although I have no plans for one yet), or I can tweak it and transform this story into the revelation of the third coven queen.

I prefer the second option, and since the coven I would be focused on in this story is the darkest of the four, sacrificing Megan to reveal the queen's hiding place fits both plot lines. Plus, I may already have a cover.

After completing Devoured, I shut down my laptop with an overwhelming sense of melancholy; sadness at the loss of Reflected (whose title has been changed to fit its new direction).

Day 63 - Death by chocolate

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 12 October, 2021 at 18:40 Comments comments (0)

The tale of Grammy Sue, also known as Devoured, was born from a combination Hansel and Gretel, and a dark comedy I watched many years ago, where the characters were killed and dumped into a vat of chocolate.

Points to anyone who can name this "sweet" film.

Putting aside the skin crawling that occurs when I read first person - okay, let's address this for a moment. I want to lose myself in the story, and I find it jarring to read "I" all the time because it feels more like a journal. This is just a personal thing, everyone is free to enjoy what they wish (I obviously wrote in both POV's).


Now, when I started revisions on this story, I discovered the timeline needed to be changed to fit the interaction between Dr. Jack and Myra. These changes took most of my time and I ended up only completing two chapters before turning in the for night. Definitely, not on pace to where I want to be.

Day 62 - Welcome to the family

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 11 October, 2021 at 13:40 Comments comments (0)

Because I'm introducing Suze (Grammy Sue) as Dr. Jack's sister, that means two things. First, Dr. Jack knows the secret ingredient in Grammy Sue's Easter Chews. Second, he's okay with that.

Worse, he proudly gives a chocolate bunny to Myra before that ingredient is revealed. He does give her a small hint, which she doesn't quite understand, when he invites Myra to live with him permanently.

This bizarre relationship developing between them is that of a father/daughter, since Dr. Jack has no children and Myra has been lacking in parental attention for some time. With her gift, which is telekinesis (in case you didn't figure that out yet), she would be an excellent addition to his murderous family.

Wait until you read Devoured. You are never going to look at chocolate the same way.

Day 61 - No romance here

Posted by Alyssa Drake on 10 October, 2021 at 12:50 Comments comments (0)

Electrified is one of the few stories that I wrote without romance in the plot. I intended to develop a relationship between Dr. Jack and Jill (since that would just be one more unethical line that he would cross), but felt their relationship would need more time to develop, and I didn't want to rush it. There's a hint of their relationship when they make a cameo in Possessed, but again, it's just a whisper, and there is no explanation of why they are together.

I would like to write a story about Dr. Jack, as I'm curious about how he ended up running Briar Glenn, but that's a story for another time. This collection is meant to introduce you to the people around him.

Therefore, after completing the revision of Electrified, I debated how to tie in Grammy Sue from Devoured. She's not a patient, nor is she a sweet, little, old lady, but someone more like Dr. Jack... perhaps his sister.