Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Do You Know EVERYTHING About How To Catch A Crook? Really?

HTCAC Website CoverI don’t think you do 😀

As you already know, Sin, was the only real crook still left.

The other two, Kelly and A.J, ditched their gray pasts for the straight and narrow, leaving our dear Tamsin as the only knight holding down their crooked fort. Well, it’s her turn to go down now, and I’ve found the perfect man for her. Meet Wentworth Ransom III

I had lots of giggles writing this one. First of all, their names. Wentworth Ransom Iii is such a stuffy name. It seems like something a white collar criminal with zero remorse would call himself. Basically, it’s one of those names that just makes you cut your eyes… and I love it lol. The man himself lives up to his name…. he starts out an asshole but soon you realize that he’s not that much of a dick. Just a little.

As for Sin, I liked the temptation in her name. Her name evokes thoughts of a seductress. Someone who can make you do what you don’t want to do.  She, of course, lives up to her name but more interestingly, she ends up getting seduced. Turning the tables on her was almost as much fun as ruining, Worth’s neat little world by throwing him a crook.

So what exactly happened behind the scenes? What changed while I was writing? What didn’t you know? Hmmm…. A lot.

PS: Spoilers ahead so you might not want to read this until you’ve actually read the book. Find the details HERE.

Okay, onwards soldiers…..

1: WORTH WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE DARK

WorthWhen I planned the book, Worth was going to be completely in the dark about Sin’s nefarious plans. Right now, what you know is that Sin ditched her plan to marry and steal from him after discovering Claire’s dirty ways. But in the original manuscript, despite knowing Claire’s motives, she would’ve been unable to cut herself off from the woman.

Miss Tamsin was supposed to go the whole way i.e. seduce him completely until he was in love with her and then ditch him on their wedding day and disappear after leaving him the file to indict Claire. Imagine how heartbreaking that would’ve been for Worth. After thinking about it, I realized that that would mean writing two books, but I’ve realized y’all don’t like stories that don’t end in one book. Am I wrong?

2: SIN’S FATHER WAS GOING TO PLAY A BIGGER PART IN THE STORY

If you read the book then you know, Norman, Sin’s father was dead by the beginning of the book. However, the truth of the matter is that he played the biggest role in making Sin the crook we know her to be. Imagine how interesting it would’ve been to find out what kind of man he really was and if he was even remorseful about what he did to Sin’s mom. Maybe he could’ve even been the catalyst to Sin’s healing. Unfortunately, time run out, but I can’t help but wonder about him. Who was Norman McCarver really?

3: SIN WAS GOING TO BE WORSE. MUCH, MUCH WORSE

SinOkay, the lady is already bad but at one point I considered making her worse. You know, zero remorse, just stealing from people because she can. The idea to make her a kind of Robin Hood came from a friend who always gives me advice after seeing my plans. Her thought was that she didn’t want to read a story about a woman without any sort of moral compass. Plus, as douche-y as Worth can be, he had moral fiber right from the start. It wouldn’t have been fair to him to give him someone truly bad. I agreed. Do you?

 

4: THE HAPPY ENDING SHOULD’VE COME SOONER

Remember, that scene where Sin went to say goodbye, the plan was to end the book there. Unfortunately, Worth went rogue and just decided to be a bastard instead of wooing his lady like a planned. End result; the book could not end. Then I decided to make him go to New York and apologize. I thought, finally, it’s over. I mean I had already crossed the eighty thousand words mark by then, unfortunately Sin wasn’t ready to play nice either. It took me close to five chapters to get those two kids on the same page again. *sigh. Next time I’ll make sure I create characters who are more obedient.

5: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE’S ‘MIRROR’ WROTE THIS BOOK

This song, man. This song! Just listen to the lyrics:

‘Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you, baby, it was easy
Coming back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it’s clear as this promise
That we’re making two reflections into one
‘Cause it’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me

The poetry, the way those words just touch you. I just can’t! It fit Worth and Sin so perfectly. Though it took them a moment to realize that they are meant to be, from day one they just felt right. Don’t you agree?

Have you read How To Catch A Crook? Learn more about it

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE

Is there something you really want to know about How To Catch A Crook? Ask away. Drop a comment below this point and I’ll answer it ASAP.

How To Love A Crook: 5 Things You Didn’t Know

HTLAC Website CoverSo, our second crook, A.J, finally got her own hero. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. If you’ve read How To Love A Crook, then you know that A.J or Amara Justice Nixon as she’s known by the correctional system doesn’t need any heroes. Lee is a breath of fresh air to her life but she’d be good even without him. Basically, she’s good all by herself.

Writing A.J was fun, real fun. I think she’s one my favorite heroines, right up there with Tasha from Not Broken and Mel from Don’t Say No. I’m not saying that I don’t love my other ladies. I love spitfires like London from Wicked Surrender, Zain from Daddy’s Home etc but women who are stealthily strong have a special place in my heart. And A.J is one of these women. She’s one of those women who doesn’t need to announce to the whole world that she’s a strong, black woman. She’s just strong.

So, were there any special things that I didn’t include in the book? Hmm, let me think.

1. A.J COULD’VE BEEN AN ASSASSIN

A.J.Yeah, I know what you just thought: “You’re kidding, right? She’s bad enough as a thief and now you want to make her an assassin too?”

No, I’m not kidding. When I originally envisioned her, I thought of her as this assassin who was really good at her job and had very little remorse. I was going to make her a psychopath of sorts. Think Mazikeen from Lucifer. However, try as I might I couldn’t find a way to justify her being a killer and yet still managing to get out of jail. Also, I didn’t want to have her tormented for life by the lives she’d taken. So I made her a thief.

2. LEE COULD’VE BEEN MORE BROKEN

LeeYou only saw the nightmares he was having. However, in my original script, he had schizophrenia. The man was broken, really broken. I could’ve gone with all that, but I decided not to. Why? It was too much for one person. He’s already been through hell during his childhood, I didn’t feel like making his adulthood troubled too. Can you imagine how A.J would’ve felt had she found out that she ignored him all these years while he was having all that trouble? It would’ve been a nightmare.

3. CASPER WAS ORIGINALLY BEHIND THE FIRE THAT RAZED A.J’S STORE

Yup! In my first manuscript, he’s the one who sent someone to burn up A.J’s store. Why did I change it? Frankly, I was so tired of that douche. I didn’t want to have to deal with him for another two chapters so I just killed his role in the story. Can you imagine having a father like him? I mean I know some fathers out there aren’t the greatest thing but Casper was just…. Wow!

4. SIN MIGHT STILL BE A CROOKSin

Are you as intrigued by this woman as I am? I’m about to start writing Sexy Miss Tamsin’s book and I haven’t decided if she’s still a con woman or not. All evidence points to her still clinging to her crooked ways but sometimes a glimmer of morals show and you’re like…. she might not be as bad as we think. Anyway, I’ll decide soon. Don’t forget to sign up for my Book Club so you know when her book comes out.

5. TAYLOR SWIFT’S ‘LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO WAS ON REPLAY’

Did you just make a face? Shoot! I don’t care. Yes, I listen to Taylor Swift. I’m not a Swiftie (yet) but you gotta admit that despite her ways, the lady has some good music. Why did I play ‘Look What You Made Me Do’? Hmm, I’m not really sure but I think it’s because the lyrics are very IDGAF. Like, I’ll do whatever makes me happy and the rest of you can just keep on running your mouths. That’s what A.J is about. She’s not a limelight kind of girl but she just tends to follow her own road.

Have you read How To Love A Crook? Learn more about it

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE

Is there something you really want to know about How To Love A Crook? Ask away. Drop a comment below this point and I’ll answer it ASAP.

Cheers,

Linda

How To Tempt A Crook: 6 Things You Didn’t Know.

HTTAC Website CoverYay! I’m finally writing about my crooks. Crooked In Love is a series that has been simmering in my mind for quite a long time (might even be years). It took me a while to get to it mostly because I get distracted easily. But I’ve finally decided to get my butt in gear and finish this series so it can stop making a fuss in the back of mind.

Writing How To Tempt A Crook was… grueling. Mostly because of Kelly. It was easy to understand her grudge against Spencer, but it was also frustrating because she and Spencer seem so perfect for each other. Fortunately, they got their happy ending.

Now, to the reason you really came here. What don’t you know about the book? Read on…

  1. SPENCER TURNED OUT TO BE MORE REDEEMABLE THAN I INITIALLY PLANNED

SpencerSpencer was meant to be a jackass, a real jackass. Yeah, sure he was going to get her out of prison, but I planned to make him unapologetic, since technically, he wasn’t completely to blame. Unfortunately, rogue characters tend to ruin the best laid plans. He threw me for a curveball with his appearance in the prologue, asking for forgiveness. From there on there was nothing I could do except let him be a nice guy like he wanted.

  1. KELLY COULD HAVE REALLY BEEN THE MURDERER

When I was planning out the story, I’d planned for Kelly to be the murderer. But I thought it over – she’s a convict, father dead, career down the toilet… Adding in ‘murderer’, just seemed a little macabre. Also, she was already dealing with the trauma from having lost her father while trying to free her. If she had a murder to deal with too, it might have been too much for one person to deal with.

  1. THERE WAS A PREQUEL ALL READY

I had planned to write a prequel to the book. If you’ve read How To Tempt A Crook then you know that Spencer and Kelly’s backstory is pretty heavy and could make a book all on its own. I was thinking of doing a before-the-romance love story just to show how antagonistic their love story. Why did I ditch the prequel? It was very mystery heavy, and light on the romance (if any). However, I might still end up doing it anyway, just because I like Spencer and Kelly so much.

  1. LAWRENCE WAS GOING TO DIE

Yes, I know. That would’ve made me the worst person out there, but I can’t lie. I was going to kill dear Lawrence just so Kelly would be forced to acknowledge her feelings for Spencer. Fortunately, she came to her senses before then and begged me to let Lawrence live. And that’s why Lawrence is alive.

  1. KELLY’S NOT MY FAVORITE CHARACTER

A.J.No, no, no. Don’t get me wrong. I like her very much but she’s not my favorite of the Crooked girls. That honor goes to A.J. (The girl on the side).

I know it’s wrong to have favorites among your children but A.J gives me life. Once you read her book you’ll understand why.

If you want to know when the book drops and still haven’t joined my Book Club, then you’re missing out. Join, Join, JOIN! Seriously!

  1. SPANISH SONGS WROTE THIS BOOK

I don’t speak Spanish. Heck, the only words I understand from the language are the ones that sound a little English or French. But for some reason, I couldn’t stop listening to Spanish songs as I wrote this book. My favorite has to be Solo Por Amor by Samo.

I’m awful at Spanish so the only thing I know about this song is that it talks about forbidden/taboo love. Still, it got me through this book cause Samo has a voice like honey and the beats of this song always hit the right place. Don’t you agree?

Have you read How To Tempt A Crook? Learn More About it

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE

Is there something you really want to know about How To Tempt A Crook? Ask away. Drop a comment below this point and I’ll answer it ASAP.

Cheers,

Linda

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Love Contract

TLC Website CoverI’m done writing the Sizzle & Burn series. *sigh. It was a great ride. A great, great ride. I hope you enjoyed reading the three books in the series as much as I enjoyed writing them. Greyson, Roman or Orion? Who was my favorite virtual boyfriend? I’m not sure. Can’t I have them all? But I will admit that I loved writing Orion the most just because I’ve never written an Asian man as the lead. He was… an adventure.

Vina wasn’t too bad either. She comes off as this strong woman when people see her on the outside but they don’t know the double-life she’s leading. What was I thinking when I wrote The Love Contract? Read on…

1. OF COURSE IT WAS INSPIRED BY KDRAMAS

Duh! If you follow me on social media or read my newsletters then you probably already know this. Kdramas are life! Every time I finish a book, I take a week to binge watch kdramas. I watch them all from romantic comedies to crime thrillers. Sometimes, I even think that I might have some latent Korean genes. lol. The reason I’m so into them is because unlike Western series, they don’t drag you through season after season of angst and drama. 16-24 episodes and they’re done… Next!

2. IT TOOK THE LEAST TIME TO WRITE

Orion-Vina PhotoOne month. That’s how long it took me to write it. Though I put it on a two-month pre-order, I spent the first month in Procrastinator City just trying to get my head in the game. But once I was in, man, my fingers were just flying over the keyboard. I think it’s because I really enjoyed writing Orion and Vina, plus Vina’s family kept pissing me off so I kept coming back to the manuscript just so I could glare at her dad.

3. DAD’S LIKE MIN-KYU EXIST

Yes! Yes, there are. Min-kyu is based on a high-school friend’s dad. The daughters’ used to call him Saddam just because he was such a terrorist. Those daughters were also the most rebellious teenagers I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Lesson: If the leash on your kids is too tight, be careful. They might end up biting you.

4. NA-RI WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOLD-DIGGING PARENT

You remember Na-ri (Vina’s mother) and Doo-shim (Vina’s grandmother), right? Initially, Doo-shim was only going to be a nagging mother-in-law and indulgent grandmother. Na-ri was supposed to be the one pushing Vina to get a wealthy husband just so that she could have something to hold on to in case her husband turned out to be as bad as Min-kyu. However, as I was writing the two just somehow evolved. Somehow, Na-ri lost her backbone and Doo-shim became witchy. What can I say? These characters have their own mind.

5. DO’S ‘WE’RE IN HEAVEN’ WAS ON REPLAY

2002 is a long time ago, but I still remember ‘We’re in Heaven’. Do’s voice was just so haunting and when I listen to her version of the song, what I can say… romance. Just check out these lyrics.

Oh, once in your life you find someone
Who will turn your world around
Bring you up when you’re feeling down
Yeah, nothing could change what you mean to me
Oh, there’s lots that I could say
But just hold me now
Cause our love will light the way

 

How is that not romantic? Ms. Dominique kept me company most of the time when I was writing The Love Contract.

Have you read The Love Contract? Learn More About it

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE.

Is there something you really want to know about The Love Contract? Ask away. Drop a comment below this post and I’ll answer it ASAP.

Cheers,

Linda

7 Things You Didn’t Know About The Games We Play

TGWP Website CoverOkay, you already know that The Games We Play is published, right?

You don’t? What? Stop playing with me. I know you already have it. But if you don’t, then get it HERE.

You’d think that by now I’d have stopped planning my books down to the last chapter in advance. After all, things never ever go the way I plan and my characters are ridiculously mischievous. But alas, I am a planner. Anywho, let’s pull back the curtains and take a look at what didn’t make into the book.

 

1. APRIL SHOULD’VE GOTTEN PREGNANT EARLIER

lol. I think I just heard you groan.

Yes, this was going the secret baby route. The original manuscript had April getting way earlier. Also she was going to hide the pregnancy from Roman. Of course that would have racked up the drama index, but after thinking about it I decided that Roman had been punished enough – throwing in a secret baby would have been cruel. I’m cruel but not that cruel.

 

2. WHEN YOU THINK OF ROMAN, IMAGINE HIM AS RYAN MCPARTLIN

Ryan McPartlinChills. Fine, isn’t he? While Roman’s looks match Ryan McPartlin, his character is close to Jason Pitts from The Game (as played by Coby Bell). I haven’t watched The Game in a minute but from what I remember, Jason was extremely frugal. Roman isn’t quite as frugal but he’s close. The book wasn’t meant to trash thriftiness, but it was more of a caution that you shouldn’t let money ruin your relationship.

 

3. IT WAS INSPIRED BY CHARLIE’S STORY

If you read Yes, Chef, then you know how Snow was snatched right from under Charlie’s nose, as in he was sleeping on the job and Greyson snuck in. So I couldn’t help asking myself; what if Charlie had realized Snow’s value earlier, before Greyson came into the picture, would he have had a chance? Also, what if Snow was still in love with him, would they have made it? Roman and April were born from those questions.

 

4. APRIL WAS ORIGINALLY FROM A LARGER FAMILY

Keri Hilson 3If you read the Wattpad version then you know that initially, April had eight other siblings. But I changed it. Why? Laziness. I’m sorry – eight siblings? And I’d have to say something about all of them in the book? Phew! I got tired.

 

5. JEALOUS BY LABRINTH WAS ON CONSTANT REPLAY

I know it doesn’t exactly match the tone of TGWP, but it’s pretty close to how Roman felt when he lost April. Also Labrinth knows how to pull those heartstrings.

 

6. WE ALL FEEL BAD FOR JAVIER

Poor kid! He probably would have been good for April with his easy-going ways and passion. Now we’ll never know because our girl was too into Roman. Oh well! At least he still has Eva (the best-friend who he threw the party for)

 

7. THE SADDEST PART FOR ME WAS WHEN APRIL WAS EAVESDROPPING

I felt bad for April, I really didn’t. When strangers talk smack about you, you can brush it off, but when it’s someone who you really like and who you often ride for, it stings. Can you just imagine yourself in her position? How she managed to stop herself from storming into that room still remains a mystery.

 

Have you read The Games We Play? Learn More About It

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE

Is there something you really want to know about The Games We Play? Ask way. Drop a comment below this post and I’ll answer it ASAP.

 

Cheers,

Linda

 

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Yes, Chef

yc-website-coverSo yeah, you know I recently published a little something, right? It’s done pretty well on the market and I cannot express how grateful I am to everyone who took the time to check it out and/or buy it. If you haven’t… well, what are you waiting for (Learn More Here)?

Writing Yes, Chef was an ‘interesting’ experience. Of course I started out with a plan, but as every writer knows, characters tend not to follow the script you give them. And the characters in Yes, Chef were extremely mischievous. This is me pulling back the curtains so you can see what went on behind the stage.

1. MY ADDICTION TO HELL’S KITCHEN INSPIRED IT

You already guessed that though, right? Don’t judge me. I like food, I like cooking it, and I like watching it get cooked. I think I’ve watched every season of Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, Master Chef, Cutthroat Kitchen…. I’ve even gone International. Go ahead; ask me anything about the Great British Bake Off….

busy-restaurant-kitchen_tp

2. I STARTED WRITING IT IN OCTOBER 2016

You probably assumed that I was just chilling out on some sunny island with sexy cabana boys between August 2016 and February 2017 because I didn’t publish anything. I wish that were true. Unfortunately, when I wasn’t fighting various random illnesses, I was trying to figure out where I was taking Yes, Chef. You wouldn’t believe it but I have an 80,000 word manuscript that was going to be the original Yes, Chef but got discarded. Which brings me to the third thing you didn’t know…

3. SNOW WAS GOING TO HAVE MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER

SnowIn my original script, Snow was going to have MPD (or DID) and the story was a thriller. You guys, the Yes, Chef you’re reading now is a really tame version of what I’ve got in my drawer. Don’t worry though. I’m still going to publish that Manuscript after editing it a little and changing some names, so keep an eye out.

4. I THOUGHT ABOUT INCLUDING RECIPES

I saw a few people wondering why I didn’t throw in a few delicious recipes. And I was going to throw them in… but then I though y’all might not like that and think I was just adding random stuff to pad the book (as if my books aren’t long enough). Next time I’ll go with my instincts.

5. GREYSON’S LOOKS ARE INSPIRED BY CHRIS HEMSWORTH

GreysonLook at that man. Seriously. Look. At. That. Man. And with that long hair… chills. PS: Mr. Greyson was about to get himself two gay fathers but after thinking about him a little more I decided to throw in a little depth with a momma who deserted him. When I added Lana to the story, I didn’t even know how much of a part she’d play in the story and I never even intended for her to make an appearance… but alas, story happened.

6. OSCAR IS BASED ON A REAL LIFE PERSON

Admit it. You thought Oscar was a little too dramatic, didn’t you? The truth is Oscar is based on someone I know (complete with being in the closet). Mm, that boy loves to dig up dirt on people. Whenever I need updates on who’s doing what, I don’t even need to go to Facebook. Bonus; he’s my neighbor J

7. CHARLIE MIGHT BE AN ALCOHOLIC

CharlieSomeone in the reviews commented that Charlie seemed like an alcoholic, and the truth is I was torn about that. Charlie is not really an alcoholic but he is in that danger zone. Anyone who’s lived with a budding alcoholic knows what I’m talking about… i.e. they’re not the type to go to work drunk yet and when the occasion calls for them to be sober, they can rise up. But when they have free time or some money, they get stupid drunk… like pee on myself, vomit on you, sleep in a ditch drunk. Charlie’s at that point where you can’t really say he’s an alcoholic because he’s shown that he can do without it, but you also can’t say that he doesn’t have a problem. Basically, Marlene should be focusing on fixing her son before he gets ‘unfixable’, not stalking his ex-girlfriends.

Have you read Yes, Chef? Learn More About it

If you read it, have you reviewed it? Review it HERE.

Is there something you really want to know about Yes, Chef? Ask way. Drop a comment below this post and I’ll answer it ASAP.

Cheers,

Linda

Behind The Scenes: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About His Secret Desire

His Secret Desire by Linda Verji 1600x2500-001Arguably my least read book, His Secret Desire still remains one of my favorite stories (Daddy’s Home still has my soul). But writing HSD was an interesting experience to say the least. For one it was an unplanned pregnancy. I didn’t intent for this baby to be born. But after I started writing it, I just couldn’t stop. I wrote it in a month which even for me is a record. I always plan my books and this one had a plan too, but plans change. Here are a few fascinating things that changed while the book was being written.

 1. TAY SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE HERO.

Tay was supposed to end up with Olivia. Originally the story’s theme was to show that sometimes love can happen even when the circumstances seem wrong to people looking in on the outside. But after a few chapters with Tay I was ready to crack his head. His ego. My God. He needed to be brought down two pegs, or three, or hundred

2. AND NIKKI THE VILLAIN (VILLAINESS?)

Yup! She was going to be the villainous wife ready to slit Olivia’s throat but after realizing what kind of man she was dealing with, I felt her cold fish ways were completely justified. Some people deal with pain by screaming it out, others hold it in. But damn, that lady was cold. Why would you go to the gym where your man’s mistress works. smh

3. YES. MARCEL WAS INSPIRED BY MARCEL

You know Marcel, from The Originals? Otherwise known as Charles Michael Davis. He inspired our sexy hero. I have a super crash on that man. I mean come on, his smile is just everything. And that voice, and the abs… let me stop because it’s still light outside. Charles just come marry me. I’ve already planned it all, You just need to turn up in church 🙂

4. OLIVIA’S FATHER WAS GOING TO BE A STAY-AT-HOME DAD

Uh-huh. I’d originally planned to give Olivia a tasking career-oriented mother and to make E-Hawk a stay-at home Dad who was very close to Olivia. But things happened, and E-Hawk decided he wanted to be a rapper… Eh! What can you do. These things happen.

5. OLIVIA WAS GOING TO HAVE DARKER SKIN

This was my original idea of who Olivia looked like : Brittany Clybourn

Her name is Brittany Clybourne, and she makes the word agile look stiff. Anyway that was going to be Olivia but I realized that I always write about dark skin ladies yet POC are made up of so many other colors of the rainbow.

I love Olivia because in society’s eyes she’s the kind of girl men don’t marry. Tatted up to the t, boisterous, red hair, inappropriate dressing… Yet underneath it all, she was just human, damaged yet still trying to make the best of her situation.

If you haven’t read about her, you should. To buy His Secret Desire or to Learn More About it, drop by HERE.

 

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