Friday, September 20, 2019

New Sci-Fi Novel Heading Your Way!

Well, it's finally happened. My editor has ripped the final manuscript of Consorts of the Red King from my obsessive-compulsive fingertips and deemed it worthy of publication. To allow time for me to work myself into a worrying frenzy, arrange promo, and get through GRL, Rocky Ridge Books is shooting for an October 26 release.

Stay tuned for more details!

I've been told there is no audience for MMM sci-fi, but the commenters on The Sentinel say otherwise.

This one's for y'all!

The Friday Review - NoX, by Adrienne Wilder


Whenever I read a book that truly resonated with me, I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops and share my discovery with other readers who enjoy the same type of books I do.

The latest is NoX, by Adrienne Wilder, and author I'm sad to say I've never read before. This may have been my first book by this author, but it won't be the last.

I am suffering from some of the worst book-hangover of my life, and for someone who voraciously consumes books, that's saying something.

I won't give a synopsis of the story, I can only tell you my reaction. Though NoX brought to mind Terminator-2 in the fact that a remarkable being is sent to protect someone who sees himself as nothing special, the plot is so wonderfully unique. Again with the "I've read a zillion books" thing, making this quite a feat.

Told in three POVs, this tale kept me on the edge of my seat, stealing every possible moment to hear more. The narrator did an excellent job of not only voicing the characters in beleivable tones, but catching the nuances of their thougths and words.

What awesome characters they were, too, even those for whom we didn't get much backstory. Although we're left with a solid HFN, I'm hoping the ending means more to come. (Oh, please, please, please!)

While the story is rather long, it never once dragged, and all action was there for a reason. The sex also is a study in social behavior of beings that aren't human, and therefore cannot be thought of in human terms. Sex is a part of social structure, comfort, reassurance, and a single organism in multiple bodies connecting.

I've listened to many audiobooks this year, and this one just muscled its way onto my top five list. It's a talented author who can worldbuild so well that, even in a fantasy environment, readers are sucked into the plot, clearly visualizing even the fantastical events.

If the author made up all the scientific and historical details, then again I'm impressed. Everthing seemed so believable. I do wish the author had more works in audio, as those are the only books I can read these days.

If anyone knows of plans for a sequel, please let me know. Nothing would make me happier.

Find it here on Amazon. 

Oh, and by the way, the cover is perfect!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Unique Sound of an Author's Voice

Just as voices can be similar but not exact, so too the sound of an author's unique voice. I've been privileged to be a beta and crit partner to several authors, and have learned much about styles.

If you have paragraphs written by three different authors, fans of their work could match them up. For instance, one of my crit partners writes in an entirely different style from me: yaoi, and yet we work well as crit partners because we understand that we write differently, and that's okay.

Another crit partner writes linearly, start to finish, something I could never do. Their writing is so clean you could publish their rough drafts. I might give comments like, "Make me feel it" prompting more emotion in the scene, but I try not to insert my own style into theirs. The last thing I want to do is say something that translates to, "This is how I would write it."

It's their story. They have their own followers who expect certain things, and it certaintly isn't a book that sounds more like someone else wrote it than the author. 

The most valuable lesson I've learned in critiqueing others' work is:

It's their story, not mine. I can make suggestions, give them reader reaction, I can give an example of how to reorganize a tricky paragraph to eliminate overused words, but the moment I try to tell them how to write, I've crossed a line. 

I've changed their voice. All my crit partners have amazing voices that don't need changing. I do my best not to.

Betaing and critiquing is a privilege and honor. Also, I get to read totally awesome books before anyone else gets to.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

What's in a Word: All That

Any one I've betaed for knows I'm highly critical of the word "that". Early on I had an editing program that counted "that", "was", and other words in my manuscript and compared the number to industry standards for the same word count. Know what I found out? That most "that" is not needed, or that replacing with another word strengthens the sentence.

Below, I'll use examples from my current work in progress, Consorts of the Red King:

There, in that moment, Van saw a vulnerability in Jorvik not seen since their first night together, when he’d been accosted by the guard.

What I decided on:

Van hadn’t witnessed such vulnerability in Jorvik since their first night together, when he’d been accosted by the guard. 

Example 2

Their only advantage was in being thought dead, though that also presented disadvantages.

Being thought dead gave them an advantage, but also a disadvantage. 

Example 3

The little part inside of him that needed safe haven wanted to believe they were wrong, that the man they’d served for over ten years hadn’t betrayed them, hadn’t tried to kill them.

The little part inside of him needing safe haven wanted to believe they were wrong. Surely the man they'd served for over ten years hadn't betrayed them, hadn't tried to kill them.  

Example 4

There was that matter.

Example 5

That could be either of them, or both. 

Who'd spoken? Tayn? Jorvik? Both?

Let's face it, sometimes "that" is necessary, but team up an editor who shouts, "No 'that'!" and my OCD, and you get a perfect storm of find and replace. There are still many instances of "that" in the book, but not in every sentence. 

I'm sure readers will thank me for that. Oops! There I do again!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Book Sale!

Since I am a featured author this year at GRL, Dreamspinner has marked all Eden Winters books off 35% until September 9.

Also, free shipping to GRL with the code GR2019, also good until September 9.

Titles include Duet (in four languages!), Naked Tails, A Matter of When, and The Wish.

Get your copies now!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Settling the Score - Now Available at Audible

Settling the Score was one of my earlier works, that shockingly sent me to New York City and the 2012 Lambda Awards. Out of many entrants, my book was one of five finalists chosen for the event. Wow!

I never expected to win, or even get recognition, but I entered to show my support for Lambda Literary's efforts. The day the finalists were announced I was at my day job, and went out to the car for my lunch break. I saw an email on my phone "2012 Lambda Finalists" and opened it, as I wanted to see who of the authors I knew were in the running.

The email started with, "Dear Lambda Finalist". I read four or five times, sure I was mistaken, but no, "Dear Lambda Finalist" was followed by "Settling the Score."

I did what any self-respecting Southern girl would do: I burst into tears. Then called Mama.

I'm glad none of my coworkers noticed me, for they'd have flocked to my car wondering what was wrong. I was in the middle of a huge project at work, and taking off for the awards would be tricky. My boss knew I dabbled in writing, but I never elaborated. In order to get the time off, I had to give her a valid reason.

I confessed all.

She gave me time off.

She bought and read the book.

She bought and read the Diversion series.

The book didn't win, but the honor was to have been chosen for finalist, especially as I was a relatively new author at the time. Gaining support from by boss? Priceless.

Fast forward to a few months ago, when a I put up the sixth book in the Diversion series on ACX for my narrator to grab (the whole "select your narrator" thing wasn't working). Narrator Joseph Morgan contacted me, and impressed me so much that I hated to decline.

What book did I have that I could offer him instead?

Settling the Score. And he did an amazing job.

Now Settling the Score is available at Audible here.

Outed and dumped on national television by his rising star boyfriend, Joey Nichols must face the bigotry of the locals in his small Southern town alone. His dreams of a happy ever after lie crushed at his feet. 

Novelist Troy Steele has an axe to grind against Hollywood heartbreaker types. Transforming Joey into a gorgeous, unobtainable hunk would be payback worthy of Troy’s poison pen. It's a brilliant way to get back at Joey’s image-obsessed ex-boyfriend and the movie producer who’s mutilating Troy’s novels. 

What begins as simple revenge may tangle them together in something far more complicated. Living well may be the best revenge, but Troy and Joey could rewrite that to loving well.

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Gift for Fans of the Diversion Series

What is a series author to do with information that needs to be delivered between books 7 and 8, but that doesn't belong in 8? Why, write a novella! Or better yet, two novellas!

The first takes place after Suspicion (Diversion 7) ends, and introduces Bo's family (finally!) Relation (Diversion 7.1) is now available to all you Bo and Lucky fans, and best of all, it's absolutely free.

Expecting to die while trapped in a Mexican drug tunnel can make a man rethink his life choices.
Bo and Lucky have a home, steady, if dangerous, work, and each other. Maybe even the beginnings of the reconciliation with the Lucklighter clan they promised themselves. The Schollenburgers, though—Bo hasn’t yet opened up that can of worms, near-death experiences or no.
Yet another Thanksgiving approaches with no plans to celebrate with family. Lucky’s willing to wait as long as Bo needs to get up his gumption.

He’s not nearly so patient with the bikers stalking him.

Get your copy today.