I quietly released my first self published novel, Dead Man’s Detective, in August of 2020 sneaking the books out just before DragonCon. I’m proud to see that some readers noticed and liked what they saw:
“I recommend this book. Great characters and a good storyline.”
“I love the concept of a disabled hero/heroines, and I was impressed. Loved it, WILL be looking for more from this author!”
“A solid series starter that has a good blend of action, romance, and world building.”
“If you enjoy reading Janet Evanovich or Laurell K. Hamilton, you should definitely give Rachel Graves a try. You will not be disappointed.”
Of course I’m cherry picking here. Some reviewers were not fans of the amount of steamy scenes. In my mind these scenes are important for character development. The main character, Elisabeth Hicks, has lost limbs and suffers from PTSD. She hasn’t dated in years and feels alienated from the people around her. In addition to showing her connecting with someone (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) these physical scenes show her body working the way it should and being something other than a source of pain or frustration. So important for the story, but not to everyone’s taste. And that’s okay, honestly sometimes I skip the steamy scenes.
The first draft of Dead Man’s Detective was finished in 2009. It was shopped, contacted, and then shopped around again. Ultimately, I wasn’t willing to compromise on some plot points (mostly related to the succubus) so self publishing won. I worked with three professional editors to ensure the story was up to snuff. By the time that process finished book two, Hollywood Dead, and book three, Missing, Suspected Dead, were well past the draft stage.
Hollywood Dead will be out on February 14. The cover is finished (and gorgeous) but the blurb is still in work. While the story stands on its own, the relationships have clearly been established. That means the steamy scenes scenes take a bit of a back seat to new mysteries with dangerous Hollywood deals and specters from the past.
P.S. Readers who love steam: don’t worry, there are three passages that will leave you breathless. 😉