Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lovely Words for Highway Man (2nd Edition)

This weekend the newly released, extended version Highway Man received not one, but two five star (or marbles) ratings.

The first came for Cryselle at Cryselle's Bookshelf. Here's some of what she had to say:
  
"I read this in its first incarnation and loved it then, but in its new form we get about twice as much story and I think I love it about twice as much now."

Read entire review here:

The second review came from Lisa at The Novel Approach, who labeled it a "Small Gem". Lisa had this to say:

"In true Eden Winters style, Highway Man is a romantic interlude that strums a poignant tune on the heartstrings, then comes to an uplifting end, earning its small gems recommendation."
Read entire review here:

Maybe one day Killian and Mike will get a novel of their own. 


Killian Desmond’s dreams died in a flash of pain and the scream of twisted metal. He lost it all the night a tour bus sailed off a mountainside, sending his band—with his brother—to their deaths.

Killian is dead too, if the papers are to be believed, and living a half-life of odd jobs, rodeo rides and pick up gigs. The road that once meant freedom is now Killy’s exile. No strings, no ties, no names for the one-night stands.

Answering a tribute band’s ad thrusts him face to face with his past, and into the arms of the one man who just might understand.




Find Highway Man at Rocky Ridge Books


All Romance eBooks


Amazon


For those of you who are wondering, the story has nearly doubled in size since the first edition.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Duet for .99 Cents?

If you've had your eye on a copy of Duet, now's the time to buy. Thanks to Dreamspinner Press's Christmas in July, today only it's marked down to .99 cents.

Like the Scottish Highlands? Hot guys in kilts. Love stories that span centuries? Then Duet may be the book for you. It's part historical, part contemporary, with a slight paranormal twist.

 http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3585

A conqueror’s decree can’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family’s name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil’s younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well.

Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn’t count on his charges’ English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds.

Aillil’s father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend.

Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan—and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover’s return. Billy doesn’t believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.


 ***

Pick up your copy today at Dreamspinner Press.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Please Welcome Michael Rupured! Guest Post



 Good morning, y'all (evening, etcetera). Please welcome Michael Rupured to the blog, for a preview of his upcoming novel, Happy Independence Day, and a giveaway.
 Hi, Michael!
Thanks, Eden, for allowing me to show off the cover for my upcoming release from Dreamspinner Press here on your blog. By far, the most exciting part of the publishing process—at least for me—is seeing the cover for the first time. For my next novel, to be released August 20th, artist Christy Caughie created a gorgeous cover. To celebrate, I’m conducting a giveaway. Keep reading for details.
Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. A prelaw student at Columbia University majoring in political science, his interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie. Terrence notices the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn, but the handsome man—and rumored Mafia hustler—rebuffs his smiles and winks.
Cameron McKenzie dropped out of college and left tiny Paris, Kentucky after the death of the grandmother who raised him, dreaming of an acting career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he becomes a prostitute to make ends meet. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes, he is in way over his head, and he can’t see a way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve a swim to the bottom of the Hudson in a pair of cement flippers.
Cameron is left with a choice: endanger both their lives by telling Terrence everything or walk away from the only man he ever loved. The Mafia hustler and the student activist want to find a way to stay together, but first they need to find a way to stay alive.
Preorder here:

 The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village is the setting for much of the action in Happy Independence Day. What made the Stonewall Inn a magnet for homosexuals?
Despite a high cover charge ($1 during the week and $3 on weekends), pricey watered down drinks, and deplorable conditions, the Stonewall Inn was a popular gathering place for homosexuals. Why? As a private club, the Stonewall Inn was the first establishment in New York where homosexuals could dance together. Two dance floors catered to different crowds. The jukebox in the front room played mainstream hits and show tunes for the older set and the jukebox in the backroom played more R&B and soul for a younger, edgier crowd. Around the time of the 1969 uprising, the Stonewall Inn was believed to be the biggest and most popular gay bar in the United States.
GIVEAWAY!!!!
To give you a reason to visit the other blogs helping me celebrate my new cover, I’ve come up with a Giveaway and a quiz about the Stonewall Inn and the 1969 uprising that made it famous. Find the answers on the blogs participating in my cover reveal and giveaway (links below). Comment on my post on any of the participating blogs by midnight, July 31, 2014 for a chance to win a signed copy of the prequel, After Christmas Eve (U.S. residents only; ebook available for international winners—one winner per blog).
What is the Stonewall Inn?
What was the legal environment in 1969 for NYC homosexuals?
Who owned the Stonewall Inn?
What happened at the Stonewall Inn on the night of June 28, 1969 to cause the uprising?
Who/what started the Stonewall riots?
How long did the Stonewall Uprising last?
    Shira Anthony
     Chris Koehler
     Prism Book Alliance

Find out what Michael’s up to by visiting his web site (http://rupured.com), following him on Twitter (@crotchetyman), or by email (mrupured@gmail.com).

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Duet News!

I just discovered a rather lovely review for Duet at Boy Meet Boy Reviews. Reviewer SheReadsALot had this to say:

"Overall, an all encompassing love story that carries throughout the centuries" and "Definitely recommended."
 A conqueror’s decree can’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family’s name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil’s younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well.

Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn’t count on his charges’ English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds.

Aillil’s father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend.

Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan—and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover’s return. Billy doesn’t believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.


***

Looking for a historical/contemporary/Highlander/enemies to lovers/paranormal/romance story? Look no further than Duet. And the good news? On July 26, Dreamspinner Press is marking the story down to a mere .99 cents for their Christmas in July celebration. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Highway Man Reborn

A few years ago inspiration struck in the form of the haunting Papa Was a Rodeo by the Magnetic Fields, and down and out rock star Killian Desmond was born in my imagination.

During a rare three days of being snowed in (in SC!) he screamed into my ear until Highway Man took form, a short story of approximately 8,000 words, later to be published by Dreamspinner Press on their site.Readers loved the characters of Killian and Mike, but wanted to know more about the guys, and in particular, what became of them. Once the rights reverted to me, the story grew to 15,000 and is now available through Rocky Ridge Books. 

http://rockyridgebooks.com/sample-page/eden-winters/highway-man-by-eden-winters/

Killian Desmond’s dreams died in a flash of pain and the scream of twisted metal. He lost it all the night a tour bus sailed off a mountainside, sending his band—with his brother—to their deaths.

Killian is dead too, if the papers are to be believed, and living a half-life of odd jobs, rodeo rides and pick up gigs. The road that once meant freedom is now Killy’s exile. No strings, no ties, no names for the one-night stands.

Answering a tribute band’s ad thrusts him face to face with his past, and into the arms of the one man who just might understand.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Christmas in July from Dreamspinner Press

It's Christmas in July at Dreamspinner Press! Throughout the month of they'll be featuring books for .99 cents.

Today it's my pal P.D. Singer's "Fire on the Mountain", a tale of adventure and discovery in the Colorado Rockies. Hot firefighters! Woot!

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3033

Take a break from academics, enjoy the Colorado Rockies, fight a fire now and then. That’s all Jake Landon expected when he signed up to be a ranger. He’ll partner with some crusty old mountain man; they’ll patrol the wilderness in a tanker, speak three words a day, and Old Crusty won’t be alluring at all. A national forest is big enough to be Jake’s closet—he’ll spend his free time fishing.

Except Old Crusty turns out to be Kurt Carlson: confident, competent, and experienced. He's also young, hot, friendly, and considers clothing optional when it’s just two guys in the wilderness. Sharing a small cabin with this walking temptation is stressing Jake’s sanity—is he sending signals, or just being Kurt? And how would Kurt react if he found out his new partner wants to start a fire of a different kind? Jake’s terrified—they have to live together for five months no matter what.

Enough sparks fly between the rangers to set the trees alight, but it takes a raging inferno to make Jake and Kurt admit to the heat between them.

***


Keep watching, because there will be plenty of marked down books. On July 26th look for my own "Duet", featuring love in the Scottish Highlands.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3585


A conqueror’s decree can’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family’s name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil’s younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well.

Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn’t count on his charges’ English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds.

Aillil’s father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend.

Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan—and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover’s return. Billy doesn’t believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.

Friday, July 4, 2014

What's in a Word: Keeping Your Character In Character

It's been a while since I've done a What's in a Word post, and today's is prompted by a conversation I had with a friend yesterday about reading a book in which the characters all sounded alike and couldn't be distinguished from each other. Which led to a discussion on speech patterns.

I'll use Diversion from my own work as an example. With the Diversion crew, Bo and Lucky were both raised in the South, but Bo spent four years in the Marines, and holds a pharmacy degree, meaning eight years of higher education. They don't sound the same, but sound closer to each other than to their boss, Walter, who comes from Boston and, though it's not yet been said in the books, he grew up in an affluent family. Lucky also has a seriously bad attitude, and wears his prison sentence like a badge of honor. Yes, he swears a lot. He's also our sole POV character.


 I've been taught to rate words on a monetary value. Words like "conversation" I price at $20, "can't" is $5. Lucky uses five dollars words. While Walter most certainly uses a lot of simpler words, he also peppers his speech with terms that are more sophisticated. Bo or Lucky might say something is "cool", while Walter might label it "extraordinary". It would be out of character for Lucky to say "extraordinary" or for Walter to say "cool". Even without tags, you should be able to follow the conversation, based on what is said, like my friend, who is from Upstate New York, sounds different from Southern me.

Trust me, readers (and my betas) know when I cross lines. In the case of my betas, I'll get notes about OOC (out of character).

Here's a bit of their interaction.

Walter said, “Nicely done this weekend, Lucky. As usual you went over the top with the stealth and theatrics, but Bo wasn’t able to track you.”

Not surprising. No wonder Walter had ordered Lucky to go all out. He reckoned it said a lot about his skills when his boss used him for a training exercise. “Who’d you put him with?”

“Keith.”

Partnering Newbie with an imbecile like Keith reduced the likelihood of skill alone rendering Lucky untraceable. “The jerk-off can’t tell his ass from a hole in the ground. You’d have done better to saddle the kid with…I mean, assign him to someone else. Maybe Art.”

Walter sniffed, perhaps at Lucky for taking a potshot at a member of “the team” he took such pride in. Teams were for sports. Lucky worked alone.

“Actually, his methods were pretty thorough.” Bo blew into his cup at a light green liquid; a fresh-mown hay odor drifted across the table. Lucky wrinkled his nose. Real men drank coffee—black.

“Uh-huh, and exactly how much experience do you have to compare it with?” Lucky gleefully rubbed in Bo’s wet-behind-the-ears-job-wise status.

“You have to excuse Mr. Lucklighter,” Walter interjected. “He’s not known for playing well with others.”

“Only because others don’t play well with me. It’s not my fault if half the team thinks I’m an ungrateful wretch who should wake up every morning kissing your boots and making up for past sins.” Lucky shifted in his seat, directing his muttered comment to Bo. “Keith believes I should be ashamed of my mistakes. Why should I? Especially when boss man here”—he hiked a thumb at Walter—“uses my mistakes to full advantage.”

“Now, Lucky.” Walter rolled his eyes and heaved out a dramatic sigh. “Your teammates have your best interests at heart. If you made more of an effort to get along with them, you might discover they’re pretty decent people.”

Lucky snorted, Walter ignored him. “Bo graduated top of his class from Virginia College School of Pharmacy, and he completed his first assignment in record time.” Walter gave his best “Proud Papa” impersonation.

Lucky’s hackles rose. A guy on the job for less than two months already had Walter eating out of his hand? “Well, tell me about it, since I’ve been out of the loop this past month, babysitting idiots who deserve the reaming they’re gonna get.” 
Bo sat his cup on the table, the better to have both hands free to gloat with. “Nothing much to tell. In fact, I found the whole exercise pretty unremarkable.”

The trick is to always make Walter sound like Walter, while keeping Bo and Lucky in context too. And as each new character is added, they, too, must have a unique voice. Even for minor roles. 

Now that's you've gotten a feel for Lucky, let's take a look at another scene, the first with him in character:


“Pull out?” Bo worked hard and devoted long hours to the assignment. It seemed, after the “wannabes” of Diversion Prevention and Control put their collective asses on the line, the big boys intended to waltz right in and take over. While Lucky didn’t personally give a shit for himself, his partner deserved better, deserved the kudos taking Ryerson down would earn. Had he really insisted that they get Bo out of there a few days ago?

“What gives them the right to call the shots? We’ve been here from the get-go, busting our asses.”

“We’ve done our job, gathered enough evidence to warrant a raid. We only waited long enough to put the other puzzle pieces in place. Regency Pharma, Rx Dispose, Ryerson Clinic—the nets are cast and about to be dragged in.”

Now with Lucky and Walter out of character:

“Pull out?” Bo had exhausted himself and devoted countless hours to the assignment. It seemed, after the “wannabes” of Diversion Prevention and Control risked themselves for the case, other agencies planned to swoop in and reap the benefits. While Lucky didn’t personally care for himself, his partner deserved better, deserved the accolades for proving the case against Doctor Ryerson. Had he honestly insisted that Walter reassign Bo a few days ago?

“What gives them the right to assume control of our case? We’ve been here from the start, working hard.”

“We’ve done our job, found enough shit to warrant a raid," Walter replied. "We only waited  fucking long enough to see how bad they'd screw up. Regency Pharma, Rx Dispose, Ryerson Clinic—they're going down.”

Hee. Actually, that was fun. But I hope I made my point and clarified about characters' individuality, and how confusing it is for readers when they don't have distinct, consistent voices. Also, though characters may grow in the course of a story, an abrupt change in behavior will be noticed and likely labeled a "personality transplant", unless the protag has a life changing experience and does a believable about-face.