Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Manipulation Update... and Blurb!

Great news, Bo and Lucky fans! I've just gotten Manipulation edits back from my editor, Jerry L. Wheeler, and the super-talented L.C. Chase is polishing up the cover.

Now, for the blurb! (Drum roll, please!) 

Lucky has a new life. His old life wants him back.

He traded trafficking for taking down criminals with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau, and a drug-lord lover for a man on the right side of the law. Bo Schollenberger found the way past the thorny defenses of Lucky’s heart, and made Mr. I-Get-Along-Fine-Alone think about his and his closets, stevia in the sugar bowl, and a picket fence—with a good lock on the gate.

Now Bo is missing, and a voice long silenced asks, “Did you miss me?”  Lucky must deal with a devil from his past to get Bo back.

And if Bo isn’t willing to come? A drug ring needs its back broken before flooding the US with a designer high, seductive and undetectable. But there’s a fine line between good and evil, and a truckload of temptation urging Lucky to cross. 

Comments? Suggestions?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fantastic News!

I've just received some fantastic news! Corruption has won an Honorable Mention at the 2014 Rainbow Awards!

Happy dance with me, and follow the link for more details.


  

Sequel to bestselling novels Diversion and Collusion.

Renegade biker. Drug runner. Recovering addict. Wanted by the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. But he isn’t a crook, he’s the law.

SNB Agent Bo Schollenberger’s solved his cases using his brains and not a gun, and with his partner, not alone. Now he’s handed a tough new case involving designer drugs that turn users violent. One false move could end his life as he immerses himself into a motorcycle gang to locate the source. His fate depends on how well he can impersonate someone else. Someone named Cyrus Cooper.

Cyrus is everything Bo Schollenberger isn’t, including the badass enforcer for a smuggling ring. He establishes pecking order with his fists and doesn’t take shit from anybody, not even the undercover agent who comes to help his case.

Simon “Lucky” Harrison’s always been the best, whichever side of the law he was on. Former trafficker turned SNB agent, he damned well ought to be undercover in this motorcycle gang, instead of hanging around the office going crazy with new policies, new people, and “inter-departmental cooperation” that sticks him in a classroom. Yet he’s passed over for the SNB’s biggest case in decades in favor of the rookie who shares his bed. A man Lucky thought he knew.

When survival depends on a web of tangled lies, lines blur, worlds collide, and a high stakes game turns friend to foe. Lucky knows the difference between Bo the agent and Cyrus the outlaw, but does Bo?


Find Corruption at Rocky Ridge Books.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's in a Word - It's in His Kiss

It's been a while since my last "What's in a Word" post, where I examine single words that I feel are lazy and should learn to work harder. Today's word: kiss.

"What's wrong with kiss?" you ask? Like "walk" and "look", it's a perfectly acceptable word...that conveys minimal information.

There are so many different kinds of kisses. The worried mother imparting a peck on the forehead to her nervous first-grader; that shy, fleeting connection of lips and cheek beneath the mistletoe; that drive-by, barely there, absent-minded morning kiss that leaves a sinking feeling in the heart, because you know, sense in every ounce of your being, the relationship you're reading about is on the skids. Then what about that toe-curling, heart-clenching, soul-searing tongue-to-tongue connection of two lovers reunited? Although all of these circumstances involve lips and are indeed "kisses", they are vastly different and short-change a story by being reduced to the lowest common denominator.

Let's use Henri and Seb from my latest release "A Matter of When" to make a point, shall we? Rocker Henri is self-assured, even as an emotional mess. Opera tenor Sebastian is shy and reserved, dedicated to his craft, and needs a bit of coaxing for kissing.

Henri kissed Seb. 

Okay. Yeah. They kissed. So what?

Henri dragged his lips down Sebastian's nose and across both cheeks before finally seeking out his lover's mouth. 

Slow, unhurried. These guys have time. And don't you think this is just the start of something that may continue all afternoon?

Henri took advantage of his lover's gasp, plunging his tongue into Sebastian's mouth. Sebastian hesitated but a moment then dropped his inhibitions, matching Henri stroke for stroke with a passion normally reserved for the stage.

See, very different circumstances. And "kiss" just wouldn't have set the mood. This also has added impact in that Seb is acting out of character, venturing out on a ledge and displaying trust with this one simple gesture.

Not all kisses are loving. In the story, Henri is placed in a situation where his freedom rides on his ability to prove he's crazy. Here's the scene:

He had to do something, anything, outrageous. Beyond rehab stints, trashed hotel rooms, or drunken brawls in seedy clubs. What to do? What to do? Escape lay at his fingertips if he could push his manager a fraction of an inch further. What the hell could he do to piss her off?
Gaze falling on the cop, Henri muttered, “Sorry, pal.” He brought both hands up to hold the officer’s head and slammed his lips down, initiating a game of tonsil hockey with a surprised opposing team.
Some authors have the ability to take the simple act of kissing to new heights and impart intimacy into the meeting of lips to rival any sex scene, to leave the reader breathless.

Like all other words I've mentioned in these posts, sometimes "kiss" is the right word to use. But others? Get creative. Or as the folks I beta for often hear, "Make me feel it!"

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Matter of When Strikes Again!

It never fails. I write the best book I can, pay attention to my betas, crit partners and editors, and lovingly polish the story until it's as shiny as I can get it. Then, it's launched out into the world. I bite my nails. Will this be the book everyone hates? Should I have said that differently on page 70? Will folks know what I mean on page 112? Jeez, a typo! OMG!

So those first reviews can send a writer reaching for the bottle or let them breath a sigh of relief.

There's been a lot of happy sighing at my house, and not a glass of consolation wine in sight. So far, my latest work, A Matter of When, has been very well received.

Yesterday Rainbow Book Reviews' reviewer Lena Grey had this to say about the story:

"There are many things I love about this book. I'm always drawn by anything to do with almost any kind of music, so I automatically loved Sebastian and Henri. I especially enjoyed Eden's song lyrics. They added real depth. The secondary characters are fantastic, particularly Tess; she is simply ethereal, just like the song written for her implies, and a fantastic female role model as well. Portraying the serious subject of abuse was no easy task, but Eden did a great job of showing how easily someone can take over our lives, but how incredibly difficult, physically and emotionally, it is to get out of this crippling position. I recommend this story to everyone who enjoys music, strong character growth, suspense, intrigue, villains, and two handsome men who find each other while finding themselves. Thank you so much, Eden, for making my heart sing."

Read entire review at Rainbow Book Reviews:




 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.


A Matter of When is now available at:
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
All Romance eBooks

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lovely Words for A Matter of When

Woot! I woke up this morning (far too early, if you ask me) to another stellar review for A Matter of When. Caroline at Prism Book Alliance had this to say about the Henri and Sebastian's story:

"This book absolutely held me from the minute I started it the minute I finished. I fell head over heels in love with Henri and Sebastian and their quiet but passionate love affair."
Find entire review here:

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.


A Matter of When is available from Dreamspinner Press and your favorite booksellers. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Fabulous Review for A Matter of When

I don't know many authors who don't shake in their boots when a new book releases, waiting to see how the story will be received. I'll be flat honest here, A Matter of When isn't a hit, so I feared the reviews. Today's five-marble review at Cryselle's Bookshelf helped to ease my mind.

Here's a bit of what Cryselle has to say:

"In trademark style, Eden Winters has swirling issues in the background, well drawn secondary characters (I wanna hear Tessa play the bowls, or the Chinese takeout, or both!) and a sense of place that leaps off the page."
Read the entire review here:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Writer's Police Academy or Eden's Excellent Adventure

Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending an amazing event that I can't recommend highly enough: Writer's Police Academy in Greensboro, NC.  (Love their logo!)

Yes, you heard right, and it's exactly what the title says--a police academy for writers, and a way for us to interact with the cops, undercover operators, and forensics experts that we love to write about. A phrase I heard many times while there: "Get it right." And also, "Forget what you see on CSI." No videos were allowed, and we had to ask if we could take pictures. To be honest, there was so much going on that I didn't get a lot of photos. Sigh. I'll know better next time.

I arrived on Thursday and immediately ran into Lloyd Meeker. One fear I believe all the M/M authors shared was that we'd be the only one in attendance. Well, I knew I wouldn't be, for roommate Silvia Violet arrived shortly thereafter (bringing me yummy vegan chocolates from Asheville!), and later on we met up with Kaje Harper. Woot! Reunion!

We were given programs at sign-up, featuring a variety of classes at various times. So many to choose from! I want... but wait! This one sounds good, but that one  sounds better, and what about this one?

Here's a complete list of classes. I've underlined the ones I attended (and will describe them below), and the only reason I didn't attend more is that up to ten were taught in a single time frame, with most classes offered twice. Decisions, decisions with this kind of lineup!

3rd Alarm Blaze
Cyber Crime
Deep Undercover
Domestic Murder
EMS Ride-Alongs
Firearms 101
Investigation of Felony Murder
Romance Behind the Badge
Why Good Cops Go Bad
Women in Law Enforcement
Building Searches
Fingerprinting and the ARIS System
Microbial Forensics
Memoirs of an Undercover Detective
Prostitution Sting
Researching Exotic Crimes
Tracking Down the Evidence: Footwear Impressions
Broken Bones, Ballistics & Backdrafts: Technical Stuff that Writers Get Wrong
Firearms Forensics
K9 Demonstration
Policing "Back in the Day"
Murder Typology: Varieties of Multiple Murder
Police Gunfighting
Special Ops: What are They Good For?
Suspicious Fire Deaths
TSA/Airport Security
Crime Scene Processing/Evidence Packaging
Equivocal Death Investigations: Manners, Causes, and Mechanisms
Forensic Art and Witness Recall
Real Cops for Real Writers: The Psychology of Cops
Self-Defense for Women
The First Five Minutes of a Code Blue
Underwater Evidence Recovery
ABCs of Death Investigation from a Nurse ME's Perspective
EMS and Crime Scene
Handcuffing and Arrest Techniques
Special Ops: K9, water/dive, SWAT, bike patrol, and more

There were also demonstrations, such as first response to a car wreck, Disarming the Bad Guys, and how a SWAT team blows a door open.

Also there were seminars in the auditorium: From Fact to Fiction with guest speaker Lisa Gardner and Prosecutors, Judges, and Investigations with guest speaker Alafair Burke


 And let's not forget An Evening with celebrated author Michael Connelly!



 There were also prizes galore! Baskets filled with books and other goodies to make writers drool.

Special, by-lottery events:
Aviation and Aerial Surveillance
Jail Tours
Ride-along with on-duty patrol officers

Now, for the classes I attended:

Deep Undercover-Although we were allowed to take pictures of our speaker, we were asked not to post them online. The class started with a 20/20 clip that I actually remember seeing a few years ago, about an officer with the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms going deep undercover inside a motorcycle gang. (Sound familiar to one of my plot lines?) What an amazing class. And I felt so badly for the officer. Yes, you do get caught up in your created persona, and even make friends with those you'll have to arrest, while being away from your family and friends. My heart went out to that man. I'd hoped to get a signed copy of his book, but hadn't realized they'd be for sale in the class, and didn't have money on me that first day. I couldn't find him at the official book signing event either. Sigh.

Building Searches-I can't believe I didn't get more pictures of me and Silvia Violet "storming the castle" as it were. Our instructor really knew his topic, and we got to see firsthand how officers conduct and home search. After the session, the instructor helped me physically block off the scene in Manipulation where Lucky, Bo, and new character Cruz have to find bad guys in a factory. Woot! At the end I clearly visualized their every move!

Memoirs of an Undercover Detective-What a fabulous instructor, retired NYPD Undercover Detective Marco Conelli. Now, put aside all you've seen on TV about big, rough, undercover cops. This man is one of the softest spoken and unassuming people I've ever met. When I asked him about it, he said: "If you intimidate the suspects they won't cooperate. The drug dealer has to feel he can own you before he'll sell to you." We also learned how to make fake track marks using free weights and a lead pencil, but I digress. I told him all about Manipulation's plot, and he agreed that all the twists and turns sounded perfectly feasible, and even made a few suggestions. He, too, had books for sale, of the YA category, which I purchased for my grandson. He signed them: "To the future fireman." Aww...


Next up was Broken Bones, Ballistics & Backdrafts: Technical Stuff that Writers Get Wrong, which saved Bo in Manipulation from getting shot. Really.

Police Gunfighting - In which I learned how wrong TV and movies are. Most gunfights last three minutes or less, and cops do not pull their guns as often as we seen in film. They're taught early on that "pull the trigger and your life changes. There will be a suspension pending investigation, there will be Internal Affairs, and there will be a lawsuit." Officers don't willingly go there.

Crime Scene Processing/Evidence Packaging- OMG! This class was invaluable to the aspiring crime writer! Not only did I learn exactly how things are done, the speaker gave us her e-mail address to ask question for our books.

I e-mailed her, gave her parameters for the dead body, she asked questions, then gave lots of detail. LOTS. Yeah, that scene will be accurate.


Real Cops for Real Writers: The Psychology of Cops - I have a whole new sympathy for officers of the law. The lifestyle becomes so ingrained that the life expectancy of a career officer who retires is only five years, unless they find new purpose. This class ripped my heart out.

Handcuffing and Arrest Techniques - I only got to stay in this class of a little bit, as my Meggitt session (see below) started about halfway through. Interesting. The instructors were knowledgeable and entertaining.

Perhaps the most intense event of all for me was the Meggitt Session, in which I got to take part in a simulated shootout. Wow! Talk about an adrenaline rush, and a whole new respect for officers and the danger they face.

We were given several scenarios, and had to decide if and when to shoot. Most of us in the demonstration hesitated and either we or our partners were shot.The hardest situation was no one wanted to shoot an eleven year old girl. She killed us all.

We discovered that in this tense situation, things happen very fast, and officers rely on muscle memory more than conscious thought in heated moments. Time actually does distort in such an adrenaline-charged situation.

Mixed in with this fabulous curriculum was dinner and hanging out with Lloyd, Silvia, and Kaje. Lunches could be bought on site, but those of us with special diets had to bring our own food. And so Little Miss I-packed-enough-food-for-an-army got to share her meal with another hungry vegan. We bonded over vegan chocolate cake from Whole Foods.

Look for lots of interesting tidbits in Manipulation, picked up during my weekend spent with professionals.

Next year they'll offer two venues: Greensboro and another TBA. If you get the chance, go. You won't regret it.

I bought another book while there, from retired police officer and even organizer Lee Lofland.


A full list of presenters can be found here.