11/7/20

I did it! Three releases in one year.

 And what a year it has been. 

I remember planning out 2020 with the intention of relaunching Love's Intensity and publishing two stories, If It Kills Me and Danny R.O.S.S., both of which had been contracted previously with small house traditional publishers. With the closing of those companies, I was left with the decision to try other publishing houses or take the leap into self-publishing these manuscripts. This meant hiring editors and cover designers. Then, the stay-at-home order hit. 

I reassessed and forged ahead despite the unknowns swirling around me. I reached out to a few people, not knowing if they'd be up for working with me. Some said yes, and others said no. With additional pieces coming together, I said a prayer and planned out the release dates: 7/11, 9/21, and 11/1. Though this year has not been free of sickness for my extended family, I persevered. Staying focused helped me deal with the unsettling moods popping up around me.

I present to you my three 2020 releases. Check them out on Amazon and please leave reviews. They are much appreciated.



10/3/20

Behind the Scenes: Danny R.O.S.S.

Danny R.O.S.S. is a story about a Navy SEAL who lost his eyes during a failed mission. After being in a coma for six months, he wakes up in an unfamiliar place to find his damaged eyes had been replaced with robotic ones.

Inspiration / Muse:
The SEAL Team Six's successful mission on May 2, 2011 in Pakistan and the loss of elite Navy SEALs on August 6, 2011 in a fatal helicopter crash in Afghanistan acted as the fuel for my first and only (so far) Nanowrimo story. I wanted this Sci-Fi Adventure to serve as a tribute to the guys who face high-risk situations in service to their country every day and night, whether on land, in the sky, or under the waves of our seas.

Theme:
How does someone who's used to physical challenges and willing to go anywhere in an instant deal with an injury endured during battle? I've often wondered about this and have read books depicting the way in which many veterans deal with the new path their lives have taken. My compassion for them drives me to help organizations that supply desperately needed help to those who sacrificed their health so the rest of us can continue to pursue our dreams. This story touches a bit on the need to be useful and effective post injury despite the dreaded PTSD that clings to those who've been in combat.

Journey:
I'd just released A Beautiful Girl and had recently signed a contract for Love's Intensity (October 30th) when I learned about Nanowrimo, an event every November when each participant spends tons of time each day, beginning November 1st, to achieve at least 50,000 words by midnight November 30th. That's 1,667 words on average each day--no easy feat with a day job and two kids less than 12 years old. I didn't have an outline or even a story idea. With the recent events in the news, I figured I'd write an adventure book the likes of the Bourne Identity movies--a tall feat. With minimal research and a mental motion picture outline attempted in 2 days, I embarked on a typing frenzy the remaining 28 days. I was and am so proud of the 51,163 word count and my Nanowrimo winners badge. This novel has grown by almost 5K words since then. Wow! The past nine years of fixing up this novel for release has been quite the journey.

Meaning behind the cover:
With one rejection under its belt, Danny R.O.S.S. landed a contract. However, when that publisher closed, I submitted to another one, not expecting it to return to me unread because that publisher was closing down too. I'd decided to self-publish, then a pandemic closed down the world. Knowing some people didn't feel quite creative during this time, I had no idea whether I'd be able to get a cover done. None of the pictures I looked at quite matched what I had in mind. I was trilled when Kyle Lapinski said he'd accept the job.

Impact / Tribute:
I just want to say thank you to all the troops and their families for the many sacrifices you make so we can retain our freedoms.

Danny R.O.S.S. is planned for release on November 1, 2020 as a salute to the month during which it was created.

The thirteenth in the Behind the Scenes series is planned for a later date, so stay tuned.



10/1/20

Cover Reveal for "Danny R.O.S.S."


A blast during a covert operation destroyed a Navy SEAL’s eyes and killed his best friend. He woke up six months later in darkness, his eyes wrapped. His only contact with the world a soft voice. When the wraps were removed, the world took on a different hue. His ruined eyes had been replaced with mechanical eyes. His new mission: Defend the defenseless on the home front with a young female prodigy scientist as his only lifeline during dangerous missions.

***

A Young Adult Sci Fi Adventure novel by Cassandra Ulrich COMING SOON on Amazon

***

For the latest info, visit

My Website

9/5/20

Behind the Scenes: If It Kills Me

If It Kills Me is a story about a young man who falls in love with a woman who later ends up dating his roommate. As his friendship with her grows, he's tormented as to how he'll ever reveal the depth of his feelings for her. He's determined to make it happen even if he dies trying.

Inspiration / Muse:
Jason Mraz's song "If It Kills Me" is the inspiration behind this novella. After listening to his We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. album for hours, a story began to take shape. It didn't take long before a female response to the male character in the lyrics came alive as well. Sprinkle in the insecurities expressed in Rick's Springfield's "I Wish That I Had Jesse's Girl" and the plot takes off.

Theme:
Isn't it all about love? The thing most people crave and may struggle a lifetime to connect with that special someone. This story focuses on what happens when an opportunity is delayed. If only Jaeson had asked Jessica out the first time he saw her.

Journey:
I enjoy listening to songs and the stories they portray. When I start seeing a motion picture play out in my head, one of two things happen: I enjoy the daydream and let it go, or I start writing. Putting pen to paper didn't happen for months, but, once it did, I couldn't stop. I submitted the manuscript to five publishers before landing a contract. When that publisher closed, I submitted to yet a sixth publisher and signed another contract. However, after waiting about two years for an editor who never contacted me and a pending closure, I received back the printing rights and began working toward self-publishing this story, my first romantic comedy.

Meaning behind the cover:
A graphic artist hired by the second contracting publisher created the cover. Three tries later produced a cover I really liked. I'd purchased the photos of the guy and the hands holding the coffee cup to guarantee I got the look I wanted. Creating the perfect cover is nothing less than an adventure.

Impact / Tribute:
In the story, Jaeson's grandmother plays a special role in his life and reminds me of the grandma's whom I've personally known and loved. In fact, I've added a Bonus Poem after the story in the upcoming release as a tribute to my mother-in-law who passed away too soon. Look for this book on Amazon come September 21, 2020 and don't forget to leave a review.

The twelfth in the Behind the Scenes series is planned for October 3, 2020.




8/21/20

Cover Reveal for "If It Kills Me"

 

He just couldn't catch a break. That is, until he met Jessica Stewart.

After losing a promising accounting job, Jaeson secures a position at a coffee shop where he first meets Jessica. He instantly falls for her, but weeks later, he is shocked to find out his playboy-turned-suddenly-serious roommate, Rick Springer, is her new boyfriend. Jaeson, thrown into the middle of this mismatched pairing, is left tormented that he cannot have what he wants most. He's determined to let her know how much he loves her... even if he dies trying. 

***


A New Adult Romantic Comedy novel by Cassandra Ulrich COMING SOON on Amazon


***


For the latest info, visit

My Website

8/1/20

Behind the Scenes: Battle at Kitee

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/battle-kitee
Battle at Kitee is a futuristic depiction of warfare in 2030 with a cast of characters, both human and mechanical, the reader won't soon forget.

Inspiration / Muse:
I enjoy watching Sci Fi Adventures, like iRobot, Bourne Identity, and G.I. Joe. I just never thought I'd write a story that painted a battlefield in a country no one can find on the globe with action worthy of the movie screen.

Theme:
The goal was to write about technologies that might have a place on the battlefield a decade from now. 

Journey:
A fellow author and friend informed me about a Mad Scientist writing contest. At first, I thought...Neat. Then, I wondered if I'd ever be able to pull off a sci fi adventure story when I'd only written YA/NA sweet romances, an inspirational story, and poetry up to that point. An injury placed any research or planning on hold for about a month. By the time I recovered, only one week remained before the submission deadline. I wasn't going to bother until two coworkers encouraged me to give it a go. They said, "What do you have to lose?" So, I agreed to think something up, knowing I wouldn't be able to have anyone edit it before I pressed the send button. My research consisted of talking to a former military guy at my office and reading any websites he pointed me to. But what about the story? My mind was blank. So I said a prayer, asking for a scene I could write about. In an instant, the mental motion picture of the Battle of Kitee started running. Check out The creating of "Battle at Kitee" for additional information about the contest.

Meaning behind the cover:
No cover needed for this entry, but brainstorming one would be really cool.

Impact / Tribute:
I'm so glad I leaped into this story with the imagination of wonder as the words created an amazing landscape with self-aware drones and helicopters with personality. Thanks to my friends who encourage me to keep taking risks with my writing. It surely is a type of self-discovery.

The twelfth in the Behind the Scenes series is planned for September 5, 2020.