Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Early Musical Influences - Songs That Shaped My Life

Normally I post about early literary influences, but tonight I picked an artist on my iPod to play, only to have the songs bring back quite a few memories.

I grew up on a farm way out in the middle of nowhere, rather isolated, no kids around to visit or play with except my siblings and we were usually fighting. Mom played country music and Grandma played gospel.

Ever heard of Kitty Wells? Wendy Bagwell and the Sunlighters? Those were my favorites once upon a time. Then, at the age of twelve, something wonderful happened to me: I won a radio of my own, probably through the 4-H program but I don't rightly recall now. You gotta remember, I lived in a time when kids didn't have iPods, and even if they'd existed, they weren't necessities so I'd never have hoped to have one at that age.

Anyway, this magical radio introduced me to a whole other world, full of new songs to sing. I'm a lyrics girl. I write poetry, and appreciate words that have been well put together, so when I find a song I like, I pretty much wallow in it until I can sing it, have made up my own verses, and have scoured every source I could find for the story behind the song (which is a whole lot easier with the Internet).

Heading into the teen years, and being a teenager, isn't always fun. Songs filled the void when I needed to say something and couldn't find the words, or they helped me identity my emotional turmoil and move on.

That said, I owe Sir Elton John a tremendous "Thank you." His music has gotten me through some really tough times. My favorite song in high school was "Tiny Dancer" and whenever I'd had my heart ripped out (at least once a week) then I'd commiserate with "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word." And "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" should be self explanatory.

Bear in mind that I didn't have albums, CDs, or even eight-tracks--I had to wait for the song to come on the radio or sing it to the top of my lungs while shoveling stuff I'd rather not talk about out in the hen house on the farm.

I grew up, moved on, made a life for myself outside the farm. I own hundreds of CDs, an iPod, and lots of other ways to play music. I can even pull YouTube up on my TV and watch videos to my heart's content.

But sometimes, when I least expect it, I'll hear a familiar voice and get swept back in time.

I'll leave you with a song from my past, that I love as much today as I did then.




Tuesday, March 8, 2016

.99 Cents Eden Winters Books at Dreamspinner Press

This coming weekend, the weekend of March 11, 2016, pick up three of my titles in e-book format at Dreamspinner Press for the bargain price of .99 cents.

Choose from:

A Matter of When



Wealth. Fame. Gold record. Hookers and Cocaine front man Henri Lafontaine has it all…including a control freak manager, band members who smile as they sharpen blades for his back, and last but damn well not least, a fan out to steal his heart. Literally. Trying to write hit songs and plan a comeback in the midst of the hi-fi white noise of LA feels more like watching his world implode, until he’s offered a month in the Colorado Rockies for vocal coaching.

Sebastian Unger’s rich, classically trained tenor inspires wicked thoughts. More than a pretty choir boy, he cracks the whip without hesitation to drive tattooed bad-boy Henri to give his all to his music. Working, fighting, and finally establishing a fragile peace, they find inspiration and perhaps more in each other. But the clock is ticking. Time will pull Henri back to the grit and gold of LA’s mean streets and fame machine, while Sebastian must return to the opera circuit, where a mysterious man known as “the patron” holds far too much sway. Only the trust they've built on a handful of notes bridges their two worlds...and shields them from malice.
 

Duet



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.


If possum shifters are more your speed:
Naked Tails



Seth McDaniel wasn’t raised among a shifter passel and has no idea what it’s like to turn furry once a month. An orphan, torn from his father’s family at an early age, he scarcely remembers Great-aunt Irene. Now her passing brings him back to Possum Kingdom, Georgia, to take up a legacy he doesn’t understand and reconnect with a friend he’s never forgotten.

As Irene’s second-in-command, Dustin Livingston has two choices: assume control of the passel or select another replacement. Unfortunately, the other candidates are either heartless or clueless. Dustin’s best hope to dodge the responsibility is to deliver a crash course in leadership to his childhood pal Seth, a man he hasn’t seen in twenty years. However, while Dustin's mind is set on his task, his heart is set on his old friend.

Seth’s quest for answers yields more questions instead. What’s with the tiny gray hairs littering his aunt’s house? Why do the townsfolk call each other “Jack” and “Jill”? Do Dustin’s attentions come with ulterior motives? And why is Seth suddenly craving crickets?
 



But then again, at this price, why not pick them all?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Eden Winters - Ode to Goodreads

Ask twenty authors their opinion of Goodreads and you'll get twenty different answers. I, however, find it inspiring. So inspiring that I wrote this little poem:

Ode to Goodreads
by Eden Winters

I went to Goodreads,
Hey, don’t you scoff.
Fourteen new ratings,
New book is taking off,
But then I look too closely
That’s when I feel the pain,
“This book could be much better,
She ain’t no Amy Lane.”

I ain’t no Amy Lane,
No I can’t make ‘em cry,
I ain’t no Amy Lane,
And now I wonder why.

Amy she’s got it going,
She writes ten books a day,
And all get five star ratings,
I don’t know what to say,
‘Cause when I visit Goodreads,
I feel the pain again,
“This book should be more angsty,
She’s ain’t no Amy Lane.”

I ain’t no Amy Lane,
No I can’t knit, I fear,
I ain’t no Amy Lane,
I pub one book a year.

Now Amy’s back list stretches,
From Maine to Anaheim,
How does she keep the names straight?
I can’t keep up with mine.
And when I go to Goodreads
I get so confused,
No matter what I do,
I get the same reviews!

I ain’t no Amy Lane,
Can’t write a book an hour,
I ain’t no Amy Lane,
I’m so in awe of her.

I switched up genres,
Wrote me some ‘rotica,
Yeah, that oughta,
Get some attention,
Get some reviews,
But when I look on Goodreads
That’s when I see this news:

“She ain’t no Lacy Tate,
Can’t make those truckers hot,
She ain’t no Lacy Tate,
Oh no, she’s not.”

So when you see me smiling,
On covers far and near,
Be gentle,
and I won’t shed a tear,
To keep things simple,
I’ve changed my name,
From Eden Winters to
“No Amy Lane.”

But!

I went to BookLikes,
Let them have their say,
and read these words:
“She ain’t no Andrew Grey.”


Author's note: I have the utmost respect for all authors mentioned in this poem, and obtained permission for use. 




Saturday, March 5, 2016

Release Day! The Angel of 13th Street

Re-releasing one of my earlier books is like visiting old friends. The characters and story are the same, but I notice details that eluded me before, having been viewed through the lens of a newbie author.

Angel was the first book I ever submitted to a publisher, and as such holds a special place in my heart. It was also written before I began my "What's in a Word" blog series, or even understood the weaknesses in the craft work.

What a difference six years have made. I've grown and learned so much, and though Angel was well received in it's previous incarnation, I couldn't help but enhance the story some.

So once more Jeremy is struggling to survive, as is Noah in his own way, and once more I've enjoyed the journey of their finding each other.


Noah Everett shed his rent boy existence for a bar and helping young men get a second chance at life. Haunted by those he couldn’t save, he keeps others at bay until his self-imposed loneliness is shattered by ambitious but homeless Jeremy Kincaid.

Aged out of the foster system, Jeremy’s the perfect target for a ruthless pimp like Willie Carnell. He wants no part of any future that includes working for Willie, but without a strong ally, he may not have a choice.

Noah knows exactly what Willie’s capable of, and if he’ll fight for strangers, he’ll fight harder for Jeremy.

Even if it takes confronting his own past.

Amazon US
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All Romance E-books



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Return of The Angel of 13th Street

I've received several messages asking when The Angel of 13th Street would be available again. I'm happy to report that The Angel of 13th Street, Second Edition, is now available for pre-order at Amazon and All Romance E-books, and will publish Saturday, March 5.

The story remains pretty much the same, but I've deepened the POV and polished the manuscript up with all I've learned in seven years of publishing.


Noah Everett shed his rent boy existence for a bar and helping young men get a second chance at life. Haunted by those he couldn’t save, he keeps others at bay until his self-imposed loneliness is shattered by ambitious but homeless Jeremy Kincaid.

Aged out of the foster system, Jeremy’s the perfect target for a ruthless pimp like Willie Carnell. He wants no part of any future that includes working for Willie, but without a strong ally, he may not have a choice.

Noah knows exactly what Willie’s capable of, and if he’ll fight for strangers, he’ll fight harder for Jeremy.

Even if it takes confronting his own past.

Amazon US
Amazon France
Amazon Australia
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK
Amazon Germany
Amazon Italy
All Romance E-books




Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Contest for A Bear Walks Into a Bar

Enter to win an e-book copy of A Bear Walks Into a Bar at Stumbling Over Chaos. 

While you're there, check out Chris's other giveaways, the Linkity, and the many lovely pictures of the fabulous Chaos and Mayhem.


It takes one strong alpha with a tight grip to keep a mountain full of shifters under control. Sawyer Ballantine’s contending with an uppity wolf leader and a herd of shifter elk bound and determined to take over. He might be the lone bear on the mountain, but he’s not going to allow another four shifters to just move in, especially not when they whiff of power. They’ll either be his in all ways, or they’ll be gone.

Dillon, Jerry, Kevin, and Brad have no one but each other since their groups kicked them out. The young bear, wolves, and fox make a merry ménage, pooling their meager skills and serving beer. They’ve stumbled into more than they understand, caught in the dispute between the Urso of Ballantine Mountain and the elk. But winter’s setting in, and they don’t know how to keep Dillon safe for hibernation.

And then a bear walks into their bar.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Promises to Readers and Taking Chances

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: I love my readers. When they pick up an Eden Winters book, I want them to feel the love I poured into the pages for them. And for them I promise that I will always tell every story to the very best of my ability. I’ll never cut corners to meet deadlines, and I’ll never write to market. The book must come from my heart or it won’t be my best.

That said, not every reader will love everything I write—that’s a given, and understood.

But one element is crucial to my ability to tell quality stories: I must take chances.

Who wants to read the same novel over and over again? I don’t, and I’m sure you don’t either. So I’ll try different things, or pursue a plot bunny that takes me down unfamiliar trails. 

Sometimes I’m challenged, either by myself or a crit partner, to expand my horizons and write outside my comfort zone. The most recent challenge was to write erotica.

Now, I’ll admit I’m not an erotica reader, and only write sex into my stories where it is necessary to the telling. A Bear Walks Into a Bar is no different, although it’s far more sex-heavy than my usual. I’ve loosely based my shifter society on bonobo apes, and my shifters engage in sexual activity for bonding, comfort, hierarchy, discipline, or because it’s Tuesday, in pair, trios, and groups. Some characters are monogamous by nature once they select a mate (wolves), others have no concept of monogamy (foxes).

I enjoy reading BDSM stories yet have never been bold enough to write one, but elements of bondage, dominance, and submission figure heavily into the story, as one of the main characters, bear shifter Sawyer, discovers that being a leader and maintaining order doesn’t require him to be the big, bad Dom all the time.

So, I’ve taken a chance and written something different. Will I continue writing erotica? At the current moment I’ve no plans to, though I do have a plot bunny involving a committed trio that’s based in The Sentinel world. However, Bo and Lucky are making demands about the next Diversion novel, and they're hard to say no to, and for all their idiosyncrasies, they're monogamous. 

But regardless of what is next, one thing is certain: taking chances has helped me to grow as a writer, and I promise to never play it safe.



It takes one strong alpha with a tight grip to keep a mountain full of shifters under control. Sawyer Ballantine’s contending with an uppity wolf leader and a herd of shifter elk bound and determined to take over. He might be the lone bear on the mountain, but he’s not going to allow another four shifters to just move in, especially not when they whiff of power. They’ll either be his in all ways, or they’ll be gone.

Dillon, Jerry, Kevin, and Brad have no one but each other since their groups kicked them out. The young bear, wolves, and fox make a merry ménage, pooling their meager skills and serving beer. They’ve stumbled into more than they understand, caught in the dispute between the Urso of Ballantine Mountain and the elk. But winter’s setting in, and they don’t know how to keep Dillon safe for hibernation.

And then a bear walks into their bar.
 

M/M. M/M/M, M/M/M/M/M/M... oh, you get the idea, right? 

Find Bear at Rocky Ridge Books

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