Deadline: March 31st

Today and tomorrow are the last days to tweet or post* on Twitter, FB, G+, and Tumblr (don’t forget to tag me or I won’t see it) why you want to win signed paperback copies of the Power Exchange trilogy.** Five entries max per person. Good luck!

*Comments on this post, or on the links to this post via the various social media places I lurk don’t constitute an entry. New posts/tweets, or reblogs/shares DO constitute an entry as long as you say why you want to win.

**Available to US residents only, due to expense of shipping. There are, however, a few people who have entered from other countries who have a US proxy address to which I can send the books. If you have a friend willing to let me ship the books to them and a swap there isn’t difficult for you, that works for me.

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The Long Fall of Night

Background contaminated industrial town V2How many times a day do you check your phone?

Does your job involve computer work?

When you have downtime, do you download a book to an ereader? Do you watch TV? Listen to music on an iPod?

Do you drink a cup of coffee in the morning before starting your day?

What would happen if all the power went out? I don’t just mean your house. I mean all the power.

Everywhere.

Could you cope? Do you have a good relationship with your neighbors, or would they look at your pantry and think, “They’ve got more food than me, and the grocery stores are ransacked,” so you’d better lock your doors?

Are door locks enough? For how long would you need a stockpile of supplies? Do you have a weapon to protect yourself or your family?

Welcome to The Long Fall of Night (excerpt after the jump)

Continue reading

WIN the Signed Power Exchange Trilogy

PE Cover calaedra font
Want to win signed copies of the Power Exchange trilogy in paperback?*

Here’s what you do.

Tell me on Twitter (in a new tweet, not a RT) why you want to win.

Safeword (PE Tag) AJ RoseTell me on Facebook (in a new post, not a comment on my posts) why you want to win.

Tell me on G+ (in a new post, not commenting on my post) why you want to win.

Reblog this post on Tumblr with why you want to win.

That’s it.

Each person has up to 5 chances to win, so the more times you tell me, the greater your chances. Deadline is March 31st at Consent darker cover jpgmidnight, Central time.

Those who are already signed up for my newsletter have been preemptively entered once.

*because of international shipping rates, this giveaway is open to US residents only. But this won’t always be the case, as soon as I can get books sent to the other side of the pond for better shipping rates.

Power Exchange Post Mortem

For those of you who might be interested in the answers to questions like:

“When you started writing Power Exchange did you already have an idea the direction the story would take for Myah in Consent?”

and

“Considering that Gavin and Myah are detectives for the St. Louis police department, it isn’t shocking that there a lot of deaths in this series, but one death in Consent really took me off guard. What were your thoughts in the death of the character vs leaving him alive?”

click here for the entire interview, including what’s coming up for future works.

The Anatomy of Perception: RELEASED!

Amazon usually takes 12 hours or more to approve an indie book for publication. So I was all prepared to do the upload today and hope it would hit sometime around midnight and be immediately available for anyone who searched for it first thing in the morning.

A minute ago, I got a tweet mentioning that it’s out now. Whut? In the fastest publication ever, The Anatomy of Perception is available from the following retailers (links edited as title becomes available across the board).
The Anatomy of PerceptionAmazon $5.99 mobi
All Romance eBooks: $5.99 mobi, epub, pdf
Barnes & Noble: $5.99 epub
iTunes: $5.99 epub
Scribd: $5.99 epub
Page Foundry: $5.99 epub

A little early spring gift for us all. Thanks, Amazon!

Reviews: a Minefield

Yesterday, when I was contacted by Dr. Charley Ferrer concerning the Golden Flogger nomination, I had a moment of squee, for a reason other than the honor of Consent being nominated. I totally fangirled. Because Dr. Ferrer is the woman who wrote one of the first non-fiction books I read about BDSM, called BDSM: The Naked Truth. She is the reason (among a couple others) why Ben and Gavin were born. So in my thanks for her emailing me about the nomination, I also thanked her for writing the book, that I found it incredibly useful and straightforward and it answered so many questions I had as well as sparking my imagination.

She responded with gratitude and said, “If it’s not too much trouble, would you care to write a review on Amazon for it?”

And I paused, like I always do when the question of me writing reviews comes up.

Because I don’t write reviews.

Why?

Because I’m an author.

I know there are those who have gone before me have been accused of many things with regard to writing reviews, including propping up their fellow friend authors, sabotaging others if they wrote something negative, or abusing their “power” because their word carries a different kind of weight than the average reader.

So instead, I’ve limited myself to the occasional book rec if I truly love the story.

But am I not a reader first? I fell in love with reading when I was four and crawled behind my dad’s recliner for some privacy, cracked a book, and went to town with it. My mother didn’t believe me when she found me and I answered her, “What are you doing?” question with a self-important, “Reading,” in a tone full of duh.

Look, I get the politics of it all. I understand a review I write can be mistaken for endorsement and not entirely genuine. But I’d like to think I could pen a review with enough reasons behind my rating to make anyone who stops to read it realize I was honest.

The truth is, I miss being able to debate books I did or didn’t like with people on social media. Yeah, I have a couple friends I trust where I can discuss things privately, but sometimes, if I love love love a book, I want to shout about it.

The last time I did that on my blog was back in 2012 after I read King Perry by Edmond Manning. I’d just published Power Exchange, and oh, my naïve heart was in love. Then I saw that this reviewing thing could lead to drama, and if anyone here has read even a tiny little bit of the archive of this blog (even this new one, with only 30 something posts as of now) you’ll know I am an anxiety sufferer, and drama is not something I seek out.

So I’ve stifled it. And even if it was a self-imposed clamping down of my opinion, I don’t want to stifle it anymore.

That’s not to say I’m going on a reviewing rampage, but if I’m moved to take the time and write a review, regardless of who wrote it, I will.

But to expand this a little bit, I’ve seen where others have cringed when an author gives a so-so opinion of another’s book. There are whispers, “They shouldn’t be saying that.” Depending on the loyalty of the second author’s fanbase, there could be retaliation. Bystanders whisper behind their hands, “That’s going to blow up in their face.”

Here’s my opinion on that: if an author thinks a book wasn’t up to snuff, and says so in a way that is constructively critical, does not say anything about the author as a person, and is not argumentative, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to without fear of a bunch of people raining vitriol on their heads.

I do not condone going after an author in any kind of personal way, whether they’re the reviewer or the reviewee.

Here are the things I consider an unreasonable review:

  • If you haven’t read, or attempted to read, the book, and give it either glowing or scathing ratings based off the opinion of something besides the book, i.e. the author, a friend’s opinion of the author, etc.
  • If a review contains spoilers and people who use reviews aren’t appropriately warned it does. GoodReads has a spoiler tag for a reason.
  • If the review contains anything about the author as a person. It is not okay to speculate on the author’s life based on the book they’ve written. Just keep it about the book and the book alone.

That’s it.

If you want to say you hate everything this author has ever written because it reads like it was penned by a kindergartner, go for it. If you want to say you’re the Annie Wilkes #1 fan of an author, do that, too. If you want to speculate about where a series might go (although that might be more fun in a discussion forum than on a plain ol’ review), please. If you have a reason for dissing a book’s every stinking page, do it.

Am I going to like it when someone says they hate something I’ve written and will never buy another book of mine again? No, that’ll kinda hurt. But I do not begrudge the reviewer their right to say so.

A few people have stated clearly they won’t read anything more I write after they read Consent. I’m sad to see them go, but I am never, ever going to say they don’t have the right to give that opinion. It’s not realistic to hope for 5 stars across the board. I want to make people feel with my books. Sad, disgusted, hopeful, tearful, awed, appalled, whatever the emotion. I like coaxing them all. If that means my books are not someone’s “comfort” read, then that’s entirely okay with me.

What else makes me sad is feeling like my opinion isn’t valid because of my vocation. Because I might taint something. Because my words are loaded.

Yeah, I know my words are loaded. But is that reason enough that I get no say at all? That’d be like me telling a reader they can’t give an opinion on a medical book if they’re a doctor. Or review a detective story because they’re a detective.

Or it’s like telling an author they can’t write about London if they’ve never been there. And I’m sure any number of you can see where this argument could lead, should I want to dredge up unnecessary drama. Nope. Not going there.

So the point of all this, regarding reviews, is, in my opinion, say what you think about the book. About the series. Please, if you feel strongly, speak.

But I have a voice, too. And I’m judicious enough to use it without abusing it.

So I wrote a review on BDSM: The Naked Truth. It’s nearly three-years overdue.

Winners! And a Moment

The Anatomy of PerceptionBecause of the fantastic response to my Reapings and Rewards Newsletter signups, I’ve decided to double the number of winners. Four people will receive an advanced copy of The Anatomy of Perception in mobi, epub, or pdf. It’s at the formatter’s right now, but when I get it back and check it, it’ll be in the hot little hands of these four people:

Valerie Hacking, Sadonna Swan, Lily Blunt, and Alice Viviano

Congrats to the winners! You’ve all been emailed.

Now, I’m going to take a moment here to be frank. I know this winter is getting to everyone, with the never ending snow, colder than average temperatures, ice in places that don’t usually see ice, or lack of snow in upper elevations that bode poorly for those who actually want the feet of accumulation being dumped on the Northeast right now. I know this is the likely reason for my own doldrums because despite accusations of being a vampire (for the hours I keep, and for blocking sunlight from my house with closed blinds for reasons), I too need spring to get here.

But the real truth of my restlessness lately is this: I’m scared, you guys. In the last few weeks, all my expected income from outside sources has landed and this is it. I’m truly on my own with the full-time writing. I’m playing the marketing strategies as best I can, and so far, it seems to be going as expected. I have a few new avenues of readership to pursue so I can hopefully expand my audience, and while all of this sounds very businessy, it’s extremely personal to me, as Meg Ryan said in You’ve Got Mail.

I have a lot riding on this new release.

Yeah, I will have a lot riding on every release afterward, too, because momentum matters, but this first one, well. This one sets the tone. It’s about new characters. It’s a book close to my heart, too. But more than anything, it’s a test of sorts for me. I hope I pass.

So while I’m trying to stave off the cray-cray, I have just one favor to ask. If you get the book, please consider writing a review of your opinion when you’re finished. Love or hate it, I learn from reviews. I can use positive ones to help sell the book, and negative ones to learn from my readership where I missed the mark. Constructive criticism helps me grow.

I don’t know if you remember, but several months ago, I asked you all what you do and don’t like about books that have non-linear storytelling, with past and present timelines interwoven. I listened to your reasons, which included each timeline having enough length to each section to really sink into, not starting at the end and then working through flashbacks the whole rest of the book, keeping both timelines equally compelling, and more. To those of you who answered, thank you for the feedback. I took what you said to heart and tried to shape the story in a way that would be compelling and avoid some of the peeves. Your candor helped me write a better story, and I know your candor in reviews would do the same.

So if you’re curious as to what story was pulling at me so hard I had to jump it ahead of everything, March 12th, it’ll be released and ready for consumption. Another book baby out in the world. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.