Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fun, Flash Fiction, and a Giveaway

Hurry on over to Boy Meets Boy Reviews for a Kerry/Armando (from Butt Riders on the Range) flash fiction--and hot guy pic. NSFW!

Enter to win a copy of Diversion (Diversion 1) while you're there.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

New Bio

It has come to my attention that my old bio is, well, old. Time for an update. What do y'all think?

You will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs!

Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit.

She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written fourteen m/m romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches.

When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist. 

Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and on the backs of motorcycles.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Spirit Day - October 15

Do you know about Spirit Day?

Spirit Day began in October 2010, and is promoted by GLAAD. It is a day to wear the color purple and show support for LGBT youth who are victims of bullying. 

Two years ago at GRL in Albuquerque, I had a purple butterfly tattooed on my shoulder to commemorate the day, and that was also the time when I wrote the song "Last Letter to a Son" as a tribute to the young lives that have been lost.

It’s the story of a woman who didn’t know her son was gay until it was too late.

What you can’t see in the words is what’s happening in the video in my head. During the verses she’s going through her son’s belongings, finding clues and slowly putting together all she didn’t know of her son’s life. During the choruses, when she asks, “Why couldn’t you tell me?” the scene flashes back. In one scene she’s chatting with a friend, laughing and making fun of a gay man. Her son turns away with horror in his eyes. In another instant, she angrily turns the TV off on a debate on marriage equality. In the third scene, her son approaches and wants to talk, but Mom is raving about the openly gay couple who just moved in down the street. The woman merely did as she’d seen done by her own family, or heard in her church and workplace. She never even paused to consider what her own feelings were. And without even realizing, she created a barrier that her son longed to cross, but couldn’t.

Last Letter to a Son

Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?
I love you anyway,
No matter what others say.
Why? Why’d you feel so all alone,
I keep thinking that you’ll just come home,
Don’t leave me this way.

(Verse 1)
You left your bed unmade,
Like you’d be coming back today,
Shirt lying on the floor,
That you won’t wear no more.

I found a letter you wrote,
To someone that I didn’t know,
You told him that you’d love him so,
Until the end of time.

Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?
I love you anyway,
No matter what others say.
Why? Why’d you feel so all alone,
I keep thinking that you’ll just come home,
Don’t leave me this way.

(Verse 2)
When I found your phone,
Read ugly words from your so-called friends,
The truth hit home,
Your pain just reached an end.

The kid from next door,
Said you shouldn’t live no more,
Never listened to him before,
Why’d you do it now?

Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?
I love you anyway,
No matter what others say.
Why? Why’d you feel so all alone,
I keep thinking that you’ll just come home,
Don’t leave me this way.

I met the boy who wears your ring,
Such a sad and lonely thing,
I’d have approved of him,
And I do so now.

We had ourselves a good long cry,
Then we both kissed you goodbye,
You took your life ‘cause they called you wrong,
But, Baby, those folks lied.

(Verse 3)
And now you’re gone,
Sometimes I can’t go on,
The other one you left alone,
Says, “Live, and so will I.”

Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?
I love you anyway,
No matter what others say.
Why? Why’d you feel so all alone,
I keep thinking that you’ll just come home,
Don’t leave me this way.

Why? Why couldn’t you tell me?

This last section was not a part of the original song, but added later.

When I said “fag” and “queer”,
I never thought you’d overhear,
Didn’t think I’d cause you fear,
Or you to turn away.

It breaks my heart in two,
You thought the taunts meant you,
I’d give up my life today,
To take back my words,

I, know why you didn’t tell me,
Please love me anyway,
And forgive my hateful ways
Me. I’m why you felt so all alone,
And if you’d could only come on home,
I’d be better I swear.

Why, why couldn’t you tell me?

The next time peers laugh about someone for being weird or different, or you witness someone who may need a friend, think about this: he or she may need you more than you’ll ever know. Just one smile, one kind word, one “I understand.” You never know who may be watching.

I am Eden Winters, an author of gay romantic fiction, a mother, a PFLAG member, and I smile at strangers. 

October 15 is Spirit Day, and once again I plan to wear purple to show my support. Won't you join me?

Find out more here:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fantastic Bargain on a Fabulous Novel!

Ever since I published Naked Tails, folks have been after me to write more unusual shifter stories, be they about possums, bears, or even the chipmunk/skunk medi-vac pilots from the book. I'm working on the bears now, and have marked the pilots as "one day."

That said, I've developed an affinity for lesser known shifter types, and when I chance upon the occasional story that doesn't involve wolves or big cats, I pounce. Okay, to be fair, I pounce on wolves and big cats too, but still...

Anyway, as I was saying, off-the-beaten-path shifters fascinate me, and I'm thrilled that dear friend and critique partner, literary hand-holder, etc., P.D. Singer has created a novel-length follow-up to her short romp Tail Slide. The short work is even included in the longer one.

I've been privileged enough to get a pre-read, and let me tell you, the book not only met my wildest little dreams, it passed them. Be still my shifter-loving heart!

Otter shifters! Woot! Cute, cuddly, mischievous, koi-pond-raiding OTTER SHIFTERS!

Lon Ewing snowboarded in and turned economist Corey Levigne’s life upside down, introducing him to a world he didn’t know existed. Corey’s still adjusting to a boyfriend who shifts into an otter and raids the koi pond—and now Lon says Corey’s department chair is a werewolf?

Wolves at the university, wolves in the bank—across Lon’s desk sits Professor Melvin Vadas and his hench-wolves, demanding a construction loan for the pack’s new lodge in the mountains. There’s just one little problem: the proposed building site is home to a breeding population of rare fish.

What do wolves care for stupid human rules, an otter who’d barely make a good snack, or one pesky man determined to protect the environment? Once they’re snout to snout with Corey and Lon there’s more than silverscale dace on the Endangered Species list.

Includes Tail Slide

Fresh powder snow and running water in the Colorado back country call Lon like the moon calls the wolves. Belly-sliding to a good time on the weekends makes up for a workweek at a desk, and meeting Corey adds a whole new level of fun to snowboarding.
It’s easy to slip away for time alone in the woods without raising suspicion, but how’s Lon to entertain himself when bad snow and a worse spill force them off the mountain too early?
Never give an otter a box of Cheerios.


And not only does Ms. Singer give us otter shifters, she's also made it really easy to get our paws on (pun intended). From now until the release date of October 9, get Otter Chaos for only .99 cents. That's right folks, less than a buck. But remember, the sale is only for preorder. After publication the sale is over.

Find Otter Chaos at Rocky Ridge Books and here:

 AmazonAll Romance eBooks,  and Smashwords.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Book Review: Falling Awake by Kage Alan

I don't normally review books I've critiqued prior to publications, no matter how badly I want to scream from the rooftops about an amazing story.

This time, I'm making an exception for Falling Awake by Kage Alan.

Imagine waking up in a place you can’t remember, with a face you don’t recognize, and a name that may not be your own printed on a ticket in your back pocket. And of the five people you meet during the next few hours, four of them hold clues to your past, present, and two possible futures.

The outcome of the encounter will determine your soul’s fate, and the only way out of the nightmare may be through falling awake.


I won't leave a star rating as I had the distinct pleasure of pre-reading and critiquing this work. Because of those reasons, I normally don't comment on any story I've had prior knowledge of. 

That said, why would I break habit and review this book? 

Because this story so moved me, touched me on such a profound level, that it needs to be shared. 

What it's not: 1. A typical boy meets boy romance (and yet there is a deeper love here than in many romances I've read). 2. A showcase for Mr. Alan's quirky humor and tongue-in-cheek observations. 

What it is: Amazing.

Good versus evil, cultural legends, soul connections, and an epic battle for the very existence of man caught in the middle of the struggle. And a cast of characters that each represent so much more than they appear at face value. 

Are my words cryptic? Yes, sorry, but totally in keeping with the surreal nature of this work. It's like nothing I've read before, and I stayed up way into the night, glued to each word. Thousands upon thousands of novels and novellas have I consumed in my life, so it's getting very hard to find something unique, something so different, so unpredictable. And ending the book was just the beginning. Since reading (has it really been two months ago?), I still find myself revisiting a scene or concept, discussing the book with friends, and plotting out who'll I'd buy copies for. 

How rare is it that you read fiction that affects the way you look at the world? 

Oh, darn. I'd planned to finish edits on one of my own books today, but instead I think I'll make a cup of tea and re-read this one. A day well spent. 

Read Falling Awake. 

For a short work, it packs a punch. 

Bravo, Mr. Alan.

Find it here at Amazon.com.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Making It Work - The Best Writing Advice I Can Give (Yes, I used the dreaded 'it")

In looking back on my earlier work, I have to say I'm appalled at all the "newbie" mistakes I made. Since that time I've immersed myself in learning how to be a better writer. Each bit of writing advice I grasped with both hands, screaming, "This is the greatest thing ever!"

Until the next concept came along.

In some cases, what I learned was pure gold, and enhanced my writing, in others, I had to rip out all the changes I'd just made after spending two days crying over how the story was no longer mine. All that torrential downpour of advice and ideas becomes overwhelming for a writer determined to give readers the best work she can produce.

But... post A seems like the answers to my writing prayers... until I read post B, that entirely negates post A's advice. Each poster, each "how too" author firmly believes in their methods, and others do too, to the point where the message that comes across is: "This is the ONLY correct way to do this, and if you DON'T do it exactly this way, you're wrong and your writing will suck."

Then I further muddied the waters with an editing course, and thus perpetuated my own version of "do it this way."

Yesterday something happened to me that hasn't happened in a very long time: I fell for a book based on cover and blurb, that is not something I normally read. In fact, I can't understand why I wasn't put off by the concept, as I usually am. Against my better judgement, I bought the book, fully intending it to be a DNF.

I stayed up until 3 AM reading. I don't stay up until 3 AM unless there's a medical emergency. But I did. And I woke at 7 AM to read more.

A few minutes ago I breathed a satisfied sigh when I finished the story. Know what I read?

Autonomous body parts
Invalid simultaneous action
Head hopping
Shallow POV
Lots of showing instead of telling
Telling what should have been revealed in dialog
Repeated word usage
Internal thoughts that were both italicized and then "she thought to herself"
Inconsistent dialect
Several "big misunderstandings"
Poorly educated prairie settlers who sounded just like the local wealthy former professor
Multiple POVs
Inconsistent pacing
Sentences ending in "it"

In short, I muddled through just about every single situation I've had grilled into me that you cannot do and have a successful story.

You know what?


You know why?

Because the characters were so endearing, and I became so invested in them, that none of that mattered. Then it occurred to me to check the date the book was published and cross reference other books from that period.

Guess what, folks? The books I grew up reading were pretty much all written this way. And I loved them.

Now when I write, I'm so focused on word choice, sentence structure, etc. that I'm in danger of losing the reason why I began writing in the first place: because I love books, have stories inside me, and love sharing the people living in my brain.

I myself have, with the best of intentions, offered writing advice on this blog. But the best advice I can give is this:

Follow your heart. Tell the story that's in you to tell. Continue to read the blogs that help you improve your craft, but remember that you do not have to take every bit of advice offered. Do what works for you. If we all listened to and heeded the exact same advice, we'd have 40,000 authors who all sounded the same.

Write what's in your heart. Create awesome stories about people readers can relate to, be they everyday folks or superstars. But all the writing advice in the world cannot take the place of a dedicated, passionate writer, who follows their vision.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Exciting News for Duet

First Dreamspinner Press translated Duet into Italian, and on September 1 the story of the bold Scottish Highlander and the reserved English tutor will be available in French!

Aillil Callaghan est un Highlander et, malgré le décret anglais, il refuse de renoncer à ses traditions. Bravant l’interdit, il porte donc fièrement le tartan rouge et vert de son clan en attendant de devenir laird, de rétablir l’honneur de son nom et de libérer l’Écosse de la tyrannie. Un Anglais sous son toit ? Quelle abomination ! Pourtant, l’enseignant engagé par son père pour ses plus jeunes fils a un talent que convoite l’héritier Callaghan.

Malcolm Byerly, professeur et musicien, a fui son Kent natal pour protéger un secret dans un emploi tranquille. Il n’avait pas prévu de rencontrer le frère aîné de ses jeunes élèves, un barbare écossais qui hait les Anglais – et cache un cœur d’or et une âme d’artiste sous son aspect abrupt.

Rapprochés par leur amour de la musique, deux hommes venus de mondes différents aplanissent les obstacles existant entre eux. Le père d’Aillil menace de les séparer, mais ils sont finalement vaincus par un autre ennemi, bien plus implacable. Leurs noms accolés entrent dans la légende.

Deux siècles plus tard, Billy Byerly, violoniste en tournée, arrive au château Callaghan où il se sent étrangement chez lui. D’après la légende, un fantôme hante les murs en attendant le retour de son amant. Billy ne croit ni aux contes de fées ni à l’amour éternel.

Mais le Laird Disparu l’a déjà revendiqué pour sien.

Find Duo now on Dreamspinner Press's Coming Soon page!