I am so excited to share that my third book, Love Unleashed, is currently sent out to two advanced reader sites: NetGalley and BookSirens! This one was a very different journey than my other two books and I am starting to get the feeling that each book is a unique experience.
I absolutely love the cover for this book and how it captures a particular moment between the characters. This story is a true enemies-to-lovers romance with other tropes and themes mixed in, like: doctors romance, forced proximity, and a lot more. Here’s a fun graphic I made for Instagram with some of the things you can look forward to in this story:
Love Unleashed: Book Synopsis
Looking for a bit more info on what to expect? Here’s the book blurb as it stands right now (but is definitely subject to change – writing book blurbs is hard y’all!):
He’s the beloved veterinarian of a traditional medicine practice.
She owns the holistic pet wellness center next door.
They hate everything about each other.
Parisa Hadid needs to find a way to make her wellness center a success—fast—or she’ll never be able to prove her Persian parents wrong and build the business of her dreams. But, the constant fighting with her arch nemesis, the surly veterinarian next door, is starting to seriously impact her bottom line. When he won’t stop trying to drive her clients away, it means war.
Malakai Dixon has built his successful practice from the ground up and isn’t going to let a feisty holistic vet ruin what he’s worked so hard for. So when Parisa’s wellness events drudge up painful memories and negatively impact his furry patients, he’ll stop at nothing to get rid of her.
There’s only one problem: chemistry is rolling in like waves and threatening to crash both of their plans. When an unexpected accident forces them to work together, they’ll have to face their fears—and their feelings—once and for all.
Love Unleashed is a tantalizing enemies-to-lovers romance that sizzles with banter, passion, and plenty of hilarious twists as two type-A veterinarians learn to let go of their comfort zones and fight for true love.
Writing Love Unleashed: My Process
Something I loved about writing this book was how vibrant the characters were for me while I was writing. They truly came to life and had a mind of their own. There were definitely scenes and plot points that I did not have planned or had even thought of until I was in the scene, writing it. When you even surprise yourself as the writer, it’s a pretty wild experience.
I’ve learned that there are two main types of writers: pantsers and plotters. I absolutely fall into the pantser group, meaning that I write by the seat of my pants. I have a loose idea where it’s going and then just go for it. And yes, there are definitely times when I am in the thick of writing that I feel jealous of the super planner writers who have everything mapped out before they write a word. This would save me a lot of stress along the way, but then there is something to be said about experiencing it as you go, too.
There were times with this book when I would brainstorm ideas with my writing support buddies and we’d come up with a plan for what should happen next, and then I would sit down to write it, unexpectedly changing everything. When I would send the chapters to them to read, they would start texting me with tons of exclamation points when they read where the story actually goes. Sometimes they’ll ask me when I decided to go that direction and I tell them the truth: I didn’t know until I was actually writing it.
Love Unleashed: Characters
I knew going into this book that I wanted to feature a Persian character as a main character. It’s such a beautiful culture and I wanted to show a little bit of that journey of being the first generation in a new country. Parisa Hadid is extra tough because of this background. She’s had to traverse two cultures, two languages, two sets of societal expectations growing up, all while navigating her own identity in an area that is not as diverse as other parts of California. This shapes her into a strong-willed, passionate woman that is willing to work hard to go after what she wants and then fight to protect it. She’s not going to back down when the grumpy vet next door wants to get rid of her for reasons she doesn’t really understand.
After I decided this was going to be the female lead, I knew I needed to create an equally passionate, cultured male lead for her to fight with and fall in love with. Malakai Dixon was born from that idea. He’s a spicy, passionate, hard-headed, loyal, loving first-generation Italian/Scottish man and he grew up around strong-willed women, so he doesn’t balk at all at Parisa’s strength and determination. In fact, it’s part of why he falls so hard for her.
There are other possible connections for them in the book that do complicate things, though, and we see how they navigate these possibilities while also trying to work through this shifting dynamic in their relationship.
Since they’ve spent many years of their lives in school and working long hours to become the brilliant veterinarians that they are, they haven’t had much time for a personal life. This makes their falling for each other extra hilarious as they bumble through the feelings that are very new for them to have. I loved exploring this dichotomy between their competency at work vs. their immaturity in love. This was really inspired by a woman I worked with many years ago who was one of the most intelligent, incredible people I’ve ever met. But, when it came to her love life, she was a total mess! It was almost amusing to see how this super successful, articulate woman could be so different when dating and falling in love. I think a lot of us can relate to this.
Love Unleashed: The Making of a Plot
The choice to make them both veterinarians was not my first idea. I actually went through quite a few different professions, for both of them, before settling on this choice. In fact, I was almost ready to sit down and write before deciding that they would both be veterinarians, because up to that point, she was set to be a vet, and he was going to be the owner of a gym next door.
The minute I decided that they were going to be opposites from the same industry, the conflict became really clear and the tension was obvious. This idea of opposing doctors has been done in different ways – and very successfully, too. I’ve loved some of these portrayals and it is definitely easier, and more fun, to write storylines and characters that I really enjoy.
Just for fun, here are just a few of the career combinations I considered before going with two vets:
- She’s a pilates instructor and he runs the restaurant next door
- She owns a pilates studio and he owns the rowing studio next door
- She’s a chef and he’s a food blogger (this one might be revisited, lol)
- She owns a smoothie shop and he owns the car repair shop next door
- They’re both anesthesiologists
- She’s an OBGYN and he’s a pediatrician and they keep getting picked by all the same clients
It’s fun for me to think back on all the potential careers I considered for these characters. The choice to make them animal doctors came from wanting to keep the subject matter light for the most part. Not that being a veterinarian is easy, by any means, but everybody loves hilarious, furry friends and making them vets gave me a lot of great animal content to lighten the mood.
Plus, since I knew I wanted them to be rivals, having them work in the same profession takes that competitiveness up a notch. Or a couple notches.
Something else I explored in this book was more deeply developed side characters. In my first two books, I had strong side characters, some that even stole the spotlight quite a bit (we’re looking at you Cam!), but in this one, we see a fully developed relationship between Ren and Autumn, the vet techs for the opposing practices. This adds some depth and dimension to the story that I loved and I think you will really enjoy, too.
Love Unleashed: Book Release Plan
One of the challenging parts of being self published is being fully responsible for your own marketing plan. With each book so far I have tried some new approaches to spreading the word. I don’t have an unlimited budget, so I can’t do it all for every book, so I try a few things with each one and take note of what works really well for my books and writing style and what doesn’t. For this one, I’ll be trying two new things that I haven’t been able to do before and I’m looking forward to seeing how this helps with reach.
First, I’ll be using NetGalley and BookSirens for ARCS. I’ve used BookSirens twice and it performs pretty well for me, but NetGalley is the industry standard for finding advanced readers. This will be fun to try out.
Second, I’m working with a custom bookmark designer to create a promotional book boyfriend bookmark of Malakai! He’s such a babe and I am going to give away the bookmarks to readers who choose to share out about the book’s release on social media and/or sites like Goodreads. I really want to increase my engagement with potential readers and build those relationships. Have a fun freebie will give me the opportunity to do that and I can’t wait. If you’d like to participate, follow me on Instagram @eliseeliotauthor and join the fun.
Other than that, I’ll try to be better about sharing more on social media. There are so many memorable moments and lines in this book. Its just exploding with witty banter, sizzling chemistry and plenty of heartwarming lines. I think they’ll give me plenty of content for sharing.
Also, I’ll share updates with my email list, too. I have a group of incredible readers who do get my emails, and I’ll continue to share exciting info with them first.
Thanks for reading!
To preorder Love Unleashed, head to the link here.