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I’m excited to welcome Melody DeBlois, a sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press), today! Tomorrow is release day for her new contemporary romance, Undercover in Venice Beach, and she’s here to talk about courting the muse. Take it away, Melody!

The Muse arrives when I turn out the light,

And if I am lucky stays through the night.

She often sticks around until it is tomorrow,

Leaving a stream of words for me to borrow.

The muse is a fleeting lady. Although she’s forever late to the party and the first to leave, I never bar her entrance. Still, the more I struggle to catch her, the more she eludes me. A surefire way to scare her off is to overthink her, but for the sake of this blog, I’ll try to pin her down.

The best time to court the muse is just before drifting off to sleep. She’s great at jumping from one dream and landing in another. She’s quite the pest when she has a mind, leaving me no choice but to get up and write. After all that interrupted sleep and worn to a frazzle, I find the tease has left me flat.

Music is the best bait for trapping the muse. She’s partial to groups like the Cocteau Twins, a little Bossa Nova, and anything Billie Eilish. She’s been known to rock out to Jagger and to rap with Eminem. It’s raw emotions that attract her. The dark, theatric In the Nursery lured her into showing up for a Gothic Horror. Too much of a good thing, though, on any given day, causes her to drop in her tracks. There is such a thing as playing a song to death.

To tempt the muse back to the land of the living is to let her get her teeth on some juicy research. The more exploration, the merrier she dances. Fact is, she’s kept me up for hours on end. All that food for thought makes her shine, makes her gleam. The trick is to know when to stop. Too much hanging out with her makes me forget to start writing. Then neither of us wins.

When I can’t find the muse for any length of time, I resort to drastic measures. I read lots of poetry, draw pictures, and even write by hand. I search my brain for the right word to jar the muse back into existence. Sleep-deprived, I fall into bed. Just when I think I’ll never see her again, I awake refreshed. Low and behold, there she is in all finery, waiting for me with strong coffee and a swift kick into action. My muse is back!

A little about Undercover in Venice Beach:

By trading places with her twin, Audrey Powell has the opportunity she’s always wanted, running her late mother’s teahouse. When she fails to create food that delights the palate, she hires Liam James—a sexy as sin Brit with a flair for cooking. He tries to seduce her with titillating dishes and his charm, but she’s vowed to steer clear of romance.

Working undercover, Liam’s mission is to keep an eye on the teahouse. He poses as a chef to catch the traitor who is leaking UK security secrets. The last thing he wants to do is fall for a suspect, but when sparks fly, the romance starts to feel all too real.

A peek between the pages:

Liam pointed to the recipe, and when she reluctantly did as instructed, he said, “Add the wet butter and milk to the mix and beat until you get rid of the lumps.”

“Too bad I can’t rid myself of the lumps in my so-called life.”

“You’ll get them smoothed out.” He slid in back of her and took her hand, demonstrating the motion, tempting her to nestle against his chest. His Iron Man chest. “Just keep trying, luv.”

His being so near was torture. “Do I add the fruit now?”

“Aye, the cranberries. You can spot a bad one from the others because it shows a wrinkle.” He picked out a specimen, displaying it to her on his palm. “See, not unlike the line you get between your brows when you’re deep in thought.”

She rubbed the bridge of her nose. “I do?”

He sent her an all-male grin. “Captivating, actually.”

He wiped flour from her face with a dishrag and plopped some cranberries in her mouth. She bit down, the tangy sweetness thrilling her taste buds, the sexy man challenging her vow to stay clear of him. But the very act of his helping her spoon the batter into tins pulled her deeper into his center, a universe composed of his culinary magic and kindness. His large hands and strong arms made her feel fragile and protected from the outside world. She remained there, a participant in sensations, till the bells over the entrance clanged together like dropped silverware.

Buy the book:

Amazon | B & N | Goodreads | BookBub

More about Melody:

Melody lives in Sacramento (the City of Trees). She writes romance novels. She’s partial to poetry, sun, rain, strong coffee, and her writing room surrounded by books. Besides California, she and her late husband lived part-time in a condo in Oregon overlooking the Pacific. That gave her a love for beach towns and whale-watching and sunsets—all the things that inspire the Love is a Beach series. The writing process fascinates her, the alchemy of layering and developing characters, the tinkering with language. There’s so much to treasure in the world: family, friends, and those random, everyday moments that make life grand. She hopes to give her readers all of that.

Where to find her:

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Thanks so much for joining us today, Melody. All the best with your new release!