Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Project, NaNoWriMo, and More!

Wow, I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted on here.  Sorry about that.

So, here's the latest updates.  As most of you know, I am in throes of writing my newest work in progress, Unbound.  A huge chunk of it has been written, almost 75,000 words.  I am anticipating to have it done this month, and I cannot wait to get it into your hands.  My pride in it cannot even be explained.  It is much different than anything I've written before, and I think that's a good thing.  So, keep checking all of my social media for exclusive updates on that info.

Also, I am participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the second year in a row.  I will be updating my progress via my social media accounts, so keep a watch on that.  Unbound is my novel for this, as I anticipate it being much longer than any of my previous novels, but if I finish it and still need to fill the void for 50,000 words, I will start on the next novel I have planned.

As for Vegas, my NaNoWriMo novel from last year, I have sent it out to several publishers at the beginning of October and am just waiting to hear back.  Keep your fingers crossed, and you will be the first to know if something exciting happens there.

Just a reminder.  These are my social media accounts.  Follow them for frequent updates on my progress on writing as well as the musings of this pop culture junkie.

Twitter: @MaryFGualandri
Instagram: mfg1994

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Update on Ideal Hero

Today, I would like to make an announcement. Over the last few weeks, I've been working through Ideal Hero to the best of my ability but to no avail. It seems as though I'm just not in the zone to write it, and to complete the novel half-heartedly would be unfair not only to you as readers but also to the characters. Ideal Hero is going on a shelf for now, but I plan to return to it once I have developed the story appropriately as to close the Love, Windy City Style trilogy to the satisfaction of readers. As a reader myself, I understand the frustration that waiting for a new book in a series causes, but as an author, you simply want to do what's best for your readers and characters, and this is the only solution to this snag in the writing process.  I do, however, have a very exciting new story that I'm working on that is coming along quite nicely.  Although it will be much different and must remain secret for now, I'm positive all of you will enjoy it.  I apologize deeply for this and wish it could be different, but for now, I can only hope that you will look forward to the other projects I have coming up like Vegas and the secret project.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Character Interview: Special Agent Alex Slade

As promised, I am posting my interview with my upcoming hero, Special Agent Alex Slade.  If you have not read Hell in Heels or Private Dancer, stop reading because the interview contains some minor spoilers.  By the way, ladies, he is indeed more handsome in public.  Now, without further a due, here is my interview with the dark, brooding Special Agent Alex Slade.

MFG: Agent Slade, thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me.  I know my readers are quite eager to find out a little bit more about you.

SLADE: Mary Fran, thank you.  It's a pleasure to do an interview with you.

MFG: Alright, first things first.  How does it feel to be getting your own book finally?

SLADE: It's quite exciting, actually.  I've been there for some rather interesting turns of events in Nathan and Jake's lives, and I'm intrigued to see what is going to happen to me.  The pattern seems to be falling in love, but I don't know about me doing that.  It's not really on my current agenda.

MFG: Why do you say that?

SLADE: Relationships take time, and while I'll admit Nathan and Jake are busy men, I spend a majority of my time going undercover for weeks and often months at a time.  During those periods, I can only contact those I work with and those I am trying to bust.  That's not healthy for a relationship because communication is vital, and my job requires communication to be cut off for long stretches.  It's not fair to either person.

MFG: That's quite understandable.  However, if you were looking for a woman, what qualities would you be seeking?

SLADE: I like a woman who's confident in who she is.  I also want someone who isn't trying to be someone else.  A woman who is awkward and funny is better than someone who is fake and knows exactly what to say.  Perfection comes out in the most imperfect of people.

MFG: That's really sweet to say.  I don't think many guys would actually have the guts to say what you just did.

SLADE: I like to be honest.  Most guys would probably agree with me that they want a woman like that, but for some reason, they just don't want to say it.  Maybe it's because they won't be thought of as masculine if they admit that they're more interested in intellect than sex, although that is also a very important component as well.

MFG: Now you're really going to have all the female readers swooning as if you didn't already.  You've been a stand-out supporting character since your first appearance in Hell in Heels, and you saved the day in both that book and Private Dancer.  Basically, you were a hero of sorts, which is what led to your book being titled Ideal Hero.  What do you think makes the hero archetype such an appealing one to readers and writers alike?

SLADE: Me a hero?  I don't know about that.  I'm just doing my job in those situations.  However, as to the reason why the hero is such a long-standing go-to in reading, I think it's because you can root for them.  They are often going through things that we can relate to, and that's probably the most interesting part of them.  A hero is a person who steps up to the plate and does what they believe in no matter what the cost.  You can admire them even if they have flaws.

MFG: And you really don't consider yourself a hero?

SLADE: No way.  A hero is someone who does something because they feel it's right and want to take a stand.  I'm just doing my job, nothing special.  I mean, I do it because I like helping people, and that is important, but it's certainly not heroic.

MFG: Even when lives are being saved?

SLADE: It's just doing the right thing.

MFG: You seem to have a lot of interesting philosophies.  What do you think readers should expect to learn about you when they are reading your story?

SLADE: Well, it really depends how you write me (laughs), but I think they will realize that I'm not necessarily this unreachable, icy guy.  I do have feelings, although I often try to separate myself from them.  I also think they will realize that I do have reasons for everything I do and that I always do what I think is best for those I care about.

MFG: Thank you so much, Agent Slade.  I know readers are getting anxious to read more about you, and they will be soon.

SLADE: Thank you, Mary Fran, and thank you to all of you who are reading this.  I'm quite flattered by the attention, admittedly.

You can read more about Special Agent Alex Slade in Ideal Hero,  set for a fall release.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sorry It's Been a While

I apologize for my absence.  It got really crazy after my last post with the end of the semester and some family issues that came up.  I have been writing, however, even if it hasn't been as much as I would have liked.  Ideal Hero has been my first priority, but I have also been doing some editing for my critique group and working on a couple of other projects demanding my attention.  Characters can be quite the attention-hoggers.

This summer, my goal is to finish up Ideal Hero so that I can prep it for a fall release and edit Vegas so that I can start sending it out to publishing companies within the next few months.  After that, I plan to take a break for the Love, Windy City Style series, at least for a while, to focus on some other projects that are in a different realm.  Basically, I have a busy summer ahead of me.  The good part is you guys will hopefully have a lot of reading ahead of you.

Happy summer!

Mary Frances Gualandri

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day: A Special Excerpt

To celebrate the most romantic day of the year, I am posting an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Ideal Hero, arriving on e-readers summer 2014.  Happy reading!

The doorbell rang, and Jennifer’s stomach did somersaults.  He was here.  Alex Slade was really going to take her out.  A silly grin curving on her face, she walked to the door, her ivory heels making a click-clack sound like Amy’s always made.  She held her breath as she opened the door, beholding a sight she’d been waiting years to see.
Slade looked incredible, from his casual charcoal jacket and pristine white shirt down to this black pants and shoes.  All of it fit him immaculately, making it nearly impossible to restrain herself from running her hands over him.  God, what was she thinking?  She barely knew this guy, and she was already undressing him with her eyes.  Her cheeks felt hot, and she hoped the blushing wouldn’t spread down to her neck and chest like it tended to.  She didn’t want to make a complete fool of herself in front of this crazy sexy guy.
His gaze met hers and he smiled.  God, that only made it worse.  She fisted her hands so he wouldn’t notice she was shaking.  “Hi.”
“Hello,” he replied as he skimmed her body with his eyes, making pit stops on her breasts and the bit of leg revealed below the hem of her dress.  “You look, um, wow.  Beautiful.”
Jennifer grinned brightly, knowing she must look like a total idiot glowing from his compliments.  “Thanks.  You look pretty amazing yourself.”
Slade glanced down, seeming almost embarrassed by her compliment.  “I’m not so sure about that.”
God, the guy really didn’t have any idea how he looked, did he?  It always amazed Jennifer to see men who were unaware of the sexuality radiating from them when they must have women constantly falling at their feet.
She didn’t want to act like a rock star’s groupie and keep telling him how hot he looked, so she kept her reassurance simple.  “Let’s just say the best looks are the effortless ones, and yours seems pretty effortless.  Mine isn’t.  It took me all day to look like this.”
“And the result was well-worth it.”
Jennifer smiled.  “Thanks.  Do you want to come in for a second?  I have to grab my purse.”
Slade nodded.  “Yeah, sure.”
Jennifer held the door open for Slade as he walked into her apartment.  She studied his facial expressions closely, praying that the impressions he developed weren’t negative.  Blowing a chance to date the hunkiest guy she’d ever known wasn’t an option.  She wanted to impress him, please him, love him.
Jennifer motioned to the bar stools near the breakfast bar.  “Make yourself at home.”
Slade’s grin was relaxed.  “That won’t be hard to do.  It’s really nice here”
“Thanks,” Jennifer replied, heat rushing to her face at his compliment.  “I’ve worked hard to make it feel like home.”
“You’ve done a good job from what I’ve seen.  I hate when a house looks staged.  Who wants to live in a place like that?”
Jennifer shook her head and shrugged.  At least he agreed with her on that.  “I don’t know but they do.”
Slade slid onto one of the bar stools, stretching out his long legs.  “Go ahead and do your thing.  Don’t worry about me.  I’m comfortable.”
Jennifer nodded giddily.  “Okay.  I’ll be right back.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
Dragging herself away, Jennifer nearly squealed in excitement.  Slade actually seemed like he wanted to be here.  As she did one last touch-up on her lipstick, she glanced at the mirror in disbelief.  Never had she thought someone like him would want to go out with her, yet he seemed almost as excited to go out as she was.  She just hoped dinner would go well so that she might have a chance at a second date.
Slipping her brown suede purse over her shoulder, Jennifer took a deep breath and strode back into the kitchen area, announcing, “I’m ready.”
“Okay,” Slade replied as he rose to his feet, standing an imposing six-foot-three.  “I’ll drive.  I have a feeling you’ll like my ride.”

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My Latest Blog Post

I just had some thoughts on the heroes in romance novels, so I decided to post them to my Tumblr.  By the way, if you are on Tumblr, be sure to follow me while you are there reading my post.  Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, January 27, 2014

New Year, New Look

Notice something different when you checked this site?  Yeah, that would be because I spent one of my snow days redoing my website.  I figured that since a new year has arrived, it was time for a new look.  I personally love it and feel that the colors have a certain pop to them.

Speaking of new, I've also decided to go with the inevitable New Year's resolution of trying to lose weight.  So far, so good.  I'm not sure if I will be saying that in a couple of weeks, but I'm hoping to stick with it this time and get back to the size I used to be.

I've also been knee-deep in edits on a new book that I haven't told all of you too much about, which would be Vegas.  I'm hoping all of you will like it.  I will tell of you more about it once I'm through with the initial edits, as I will have a clear plot description by then.  However, I will let you in on the fact that I will be taking it to a traditional publisher.  I feel a lot of confidence in it and just hope I can finally make that career goal a reality.

Ideal Hero...well, it's coming along.  I'm not drafting it as quickly as I wished to, but I do know where the story is going and am hoping to have it finished in the next couple of months so that you might all have it on your e-readers by late spring or early summer.  Trust me, I'm just as anxious to release Alex Slade to all of you as you are to read his story.

Well, I guess that's all for now.  Oh, except to check my contact page.  I've updated my social media links so that you can connect with me on all of my accounts for more Love, Windy City Style fun as well as insights about how my books come to be.

Until next time,