Welcome to my little corner of the gay erotic romance universe . . . well, half of it, anyway. (You can find the other half at RachelHaimowitz.com.) This is the place to come for sneak previews of new projects, release information, and the occasional M/M book review. I'll also share thoughts on the industry on occasion, and I hope you'll come share yours in return.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Moment of Squee, and Live Chat Radio!

Morning folks. I'm pretty wrapped up in Crescendo right now, but I didn't want to leave you with nothing today. So I'm taking both the easy and the horn-tooting way out by sharing with you all an upcoming event and a moment of squee.

First, tonight's event:

This evening at 11 p.m. eastern time, I'm calling in to a live internet radio show/podcast at Other Worlds of Romance. Which means you too can call in live, ask me something horrifically embarrassing, and catch me out on the air. Doesn't that sound like fun? :-p I'm told I'll be doing a reading from Anchored, and also taking questions. I'm looking forward to this with a mix of excitement and sheer terror, and I really hope you'll join me there. The call-in number is (646) 727-2932. I'd love to meet all you lovelies voice to voice!

Next, my moment of squee (click to enlarge):

Today I have two books in AllRomanceEbook's Top 5 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Bestseller List! :D It's been like this a few days now, but to be honest, I kind of kept waiting for it to disappear. Since it hasn't . . . *SQUEE!*

And of course this is all because of you wonderful folks, who have so generously decided my work is worth spending your hard-earned cash on. I know times are tight and budgets for life-sustaining necessities luxuries like ebooks are small, so thank you all--thank you thank you thank you--for helping to make it possible for me to keep doing what I love.

/lovefest :D

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Book Review: Captive, by Scarlet Blackwell, 2 of 5 Stars

Alas, this blog post should probably be titled "How NOT to Write a Capture Fantasy."

Let's start with the cover (aww, pretty boy in handcuffs, although I find it a little creepy that he's supposed to be old enough to have written six books and instead looks barely legal at best) and a blurb:

On the outs with his lover, author Gabriel Black retreats to work on a new book at his Alaskan hideaway, where he expects peace and quiet... instead Gabriel gets shock and surprise when an intruder breaks in and takes him hostage. His captor, Ethan, is far too handsome for Gabriel's own good, and Gabriel decides that the best way to get free is to seduce his captor. The question is: Will he enjoy it too much to want to escape if Ethan gives in?

(89 pages, Dreamspinner Press.)

So, I should have known right from the blurb that this book was going to be a disaster. I've never been a fan of those Victorian-era porn stories where the woman is abducted and raped by some barbarian chieftan and discovers ZOMG she lurves it and wants to spend forever and ever with the man. This sounded an awful lot like that, but for $2 and the potential for a good capture fantasy, I couldn't resist.

Unfortunately, I think I spent this entire book rolling my eyes. The writing was solid on the sentence level but a train wreck everywhere else. One protagonist was TSTL (Gabriel), and the only reason he did live was because the other protagonist, Ethan--the one with the gun who Gabriel insisted on alternately antagonizing and fantasizing over despite the fact that Ethan broke into his house, cuffed him, called him a fag, threatened to kill him repeatedly, even pistol whipped and beat him--had roller-coaster sized mood swings that came out of nowhere and lacked any clear motivation.

The whole thing read like a bad porn fantasy--you know, the kind where you answer the doorbell to discover that the pizza guy isn't wearing any pants, except this time with capture and abuse. Now, as you all know, I'm as prone to fantasize over capture and abuse as the next gal, but I need organics; I want the characters to act like sane people with motivations that make sense, rather than do what the author tells them to because the author requires a certain behavior to drive the story.

Even worse than all of that, at the end [highlight to read the spoiler, or don't squint too close if you don't want to read it because I can't find the exact color as the background to make it truly invisible] ZOMG IT WAS ALL JUST A DREAM!, of course, and we should have seen that coming because it was the only way that the prior 9/10ths of the novel made even the remotest smidge of sense.

I got this with a 50% off coupon code at Fictionwise.com ("probowl2011" good til the end of the month), so for $2 I don't particularly consider it time or money wasted (see above re: my love of capture fantasies), but it really was just not at all well done on a structural, plot, or character level and I don't think I could in good conscience recommend this to anyone.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Crescendo Sneak Peek!

Morning, folks! As I'm currently neck deep in the Counterpoint sequel (Crescendo: Book II of Song of the Fallen) and trying very hard to stay that way, I thought I'd share a little sneak peek with all of you today. It's part thanks for sticking with me when I know that ending drove most of you crazy (and some of you, apparently, to plush-toy homicide), and part self-motivation to keep on the straight-and-narrow with this one.

You see, there are these boxers in the Belonging universe who keep trying to punch their way out of my head and onto the page, and I keep telling them they have to wait because I've got this other thing I need to do first. Sharing said thing with you lovely folks helps to keep me motivated, focused, and excited about it, and hopefully it'll excite you all a little too :D Even though it's just a teeeeeeeeeny snippet.

So anyway, today's Crescendo sneak peek is beneath the jump. This scene is very close to the beginning of the book, right when they arrive at High Court. The Aegis has given orders to bring Rik to one place in the castle, and Ayden to a different place. The boys are understandably nervous about being separated.

And if you didn't see yesterday's post about Kari Gregg's scrumptuous new release, What Rough Beast, or go leave a comment to enter yourselves in the drawing for a free copy of it, then definitely go do that as soon as you're done here :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Help Me Celebrate with Kari Gregg and Win a Free Book!

My dear friend and spine-meltingly hot (I mean it, I even read girl cooties because her writing's so hot!) author Kari Gregg has a lot to celebrate this week: her newest novel, What Rough Beast, was just released by Loose Id!

She didn't ask me to help her promo, but I love her writing so much that I twisted her arm for info for this post. Because, seriously, you want to read her. Easily one of the hottest writers I've ever had the pleasure of reading. The moment I discovered her via Spoils of War, I wanted to share her awesomeness with the world.

Speaking of sharing her awesomeness with the world, one commenter on this post will win a free ebook of What Rough Beast! And even if you don't win, there's still a great deal to be had: If you enter coupon code NEWYEAR2011, you'll get $3 off the new release now until Feb 1!

So, what am I getting all excited about? Here's some cover art, a blurb, a very cool video trailer, and an excerpt. If you want to learn more about Kari, there's a little bio at the end. And then of course is the comment box, whose use will enter you in the free ebook drawing. I hear your chances will improve if you bring coffee ;-)

Dark Masters and the vampyr they’ve enslaved for millennia are at
war...And the vampyr are losing.

During a raid on a Dark Master stronghold, Luc stumbles across Kate, a rare female susceptible to the vampyr virus. Ruthlessly hunted by the enemy, they flee -- to Garrick, Luc’s mentor and friend. Garrick provides a sanctuary, but safety comes with a price for them both. Though her mind remains very human, Garrick initiates the biological trigger that begins pair-bonding, because they must mate. Quickly.

Dark Masters have tired of the Rebellion. They will not tolerate the
escape of another vampyr to mating. Enraged, they flush the pair from
Garrick's sanctuary and when he eludes them, they seize Luc instead. But Luc is just bait, and Garrick and Kate walk right into their trap...

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic
language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Violence.

And now an excerpt, below the jump.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dawn Brown Comes to Visit (Yes, *Dawn*)!

Greetings all! We have a special guest here today at Fantasy Unbound, the All Things Romantic Suspense author Dawn Brown! Dawn's here to answer some probing questions and share an excerpt with you from her latest release, The Curse of Culcraig.

As always, let's begin with the cover and blurb.

After a devastating personal tragedy, history professor Hillary Bennett seeks refuge in the quaint Scottish village of Culcraig, hoping to research a legend and salvage her career. Instead, she finds her hostess dead, and her hopes for the future pinned to the woman’s black sheep heir. 

The last thing Caid Douglas needs is a decrepit manor house to remind him of his estranged family, but he does need the money selling the house would bring to pay off his debts.  In desperation he offers to honor his great aunt’s arrangement with Hillary—if she pays him to stay at Glendon House and view his ancestor’s journals, he’ll have the money to fix up the family mausoleum and sell it.
But an ancient curse hovers over the village, and the secret to lifting it lies in the journals.  Will Caid and Hillary realize what they have and uncover the truth before a twisted killer silences them forever?
And ooh, Dawn gave us a little excerpt of The Curse of Culcraig. Check it out--it's adorable :D

“You know,” Hillary said, keeping her voice low. “This house is huge. We could check each room individually, but who’s to say that whoever’s here won’t just keep moving around as we search, eventually working their way into a room we’ve already checked? We’ll never be one hundred per cent sure we’re alone.”

“Are you suggesting we separate?”

Her grip on his hand tightened. Did she even realize she’d done that?

“It would probably make more sense to split up. If we worked from opposite ends and met in the middle, it would reduce the chance of an intruder slipping away. But as I said, this place is huge and we’re only two people, the odds of our mystery person eluding us are still pretty good. Not to mention the confusion.”

“Confusion?” Caid tried to suppress his grin.

“Yes. If we separated, we could easily wind up tracking each other. At least together, if we hear or see anything out of the ordinary, we know that it has to be someone else.”

“What an astounding rationalization.”

She frowned at him in obvious consternation.  “I think I made some very good points.”

He smiled.  “Aye, you did. I’m sure you’ve convinced yerself quite nicely. Did you bring the subject up simply because you were concerned that I might think you liked holding my hand?”

He couldn’t stop his smile from widening, especially when she struggled to untangle her fingers from his, but as they entered the kitchen, he tightened his grip.

"Dinnae be like that. I’m just having a wee bit of fun with you."

She ceased struggling as her delicately shaped brows drew together in disbelief. "That wasn't here earlier."

"What?" He turned to the direction she pointed.

A brass fireplace poker lay dead center on the battered harvest table. On the floor, a series of watery footprints stretched between the back door to the table.

Christ’s sakes. Hillary hadn't just been frightened alone in an old house, there had been someone else here.

But who? And why?

Intrigued? You can find it at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

And now I'll turn the floor over to Dawn, beneath the jump.

We Have Winners!

Ah, the post you're all waiting for: who won the Anchored blog tour prizes!

Well, we had eight perfect scores, so anyone with a less-than-perfect score was not entered into the drawing. From the eight, I selected three at random. The grand prize goes to Sylvia (no last name provided), second prize goes to Jennifer Mathis, and third prize goes to Gertrud Conoy. Congratulations to all the winners--I'll be emailing you individually shortly--and thanks again to all who entered the final contest and all who followed along the Anchored blog tour. Be sure to keep an eye out for my next big release; I'll be doing the fun and prizes all over again!

(Quick weather-related note: There's about eighty-billion inches of snow outside . . . again. I was going to mail all the swag bags today, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow or possibly Friday when the storm finally stops and the plow comes through.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Splendid Captivity (the Book, You Pervs, Not the Activity ;-p)

Greetings all! I'd like everyone to welcome fellow Noble author Brita Addams to Fantasy Unbound. She's here to discuss her deliciously titled new book, Splendid Captivity. She'll be answering some questions for us, of course, and also giving away a free ebook copy to one lucky commenter!
First, check out this gorgeous cover art and blurb:

Isabella Malin, a widow, wants to escape her dull life of embroidery and teas. She hires a hackney and goes in search of the Falcon, the notorious highwayman. A little kiss, a bit of a thrill, and she's sure she can once again face whatever her dull life has to offer. When her carriage is stopped and she is kidnapped, she goes without a fuss, never dreaming she wouldn't be allowed to leave.

Julian Madere and his bisexual partner, Nate Thurber, both poor sons of nobility, take to the highway, stealing from the rich and making love to each other to celebrate their bounty. Julian and Nate decide Isabella must be held captive, lest she reveal their nefarious activities as well as their need for each other, both hanging offenses in 1820 England. The three enjoy glorious sexual romps, until the law gets a bit too close to the truth, threatening their developing closeness. While Julian has his eyes on a future with both Nate and Isabella, it seems fate may have other ideas.

Sexual Content Warning: BDSM, m/m, m/m/f.

Interested? You can read an excerpt or buy it here. Now to turn the floor over to Brita, beneath the jump.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Interviewing with Cassie Exline

Good afternoon, folks. Just a quick post today to make three reminders:

  1. I'm being interviewed today over at Cassie Exline's blog. Cassie asked some interesting questions, so if you're curious to see my pet peeve or learn about some upcoming releases, be sure to check it out! Comment love over there might even result in a giveaway . . . they are prone to happening round these parts, after all ;-)
  2. You have until tomorrow night to win your share of the big blog tour prizes. Please note that I now have more absolutely perfect scores than I do prize packs to give out, so be sure to double-check your answers before you email them off if you'd like to be in contention for a win. 
  3. I'm still taking custom story requests for my upcoming Belonging-verse short story collection. You lovely folks have left many wonderful ideas, but you never know what will tickle the muse, so tell me what you'd love to see and I may very well write it for you! Remember though: your requests must lend themselves to the erotic romance genre (if I can't work a sexual or romantic encounter or a masturbation session into the story, it probably won't get picked), and all stories must take place before the events in Anchored. They all need to feature Daniel, as his history is the unifying thread of the collection, but anyone else is fair game. Heck, I'll even write a happy story, if you'd like ;-D

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's Quiz Time! Over $100 in Prizes Up for Grabs!

Afternoon, all, and welcome to the very last Anchored blog tour stop. Here are the questions I promised you. Kindly email your answers to metarachel (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject "Blog tour contest entry." Email even if you only answered one or two; after all, you never know how many people will particiate or what a winning score might be :-)

  1. From Nina Pierce's Blog: Name one of my idols of the barely-AU.
  2. From Angela White's Blog: What do I wear to bed?
  3. From L.C. Chase's Blog: How much does chip implantation cost?
  4. From Billi Jean's Blog: How many sittings did Billi read Anchored in?
  5. From D. Renee Bagby's Blog: Who are "magnets for the bad shit"?
  6. From Nights of Passion: What food did Daniel make for himself when he found himself alone? 
  7. From Reena Jacobs's Blog: What's the name of the restaurant where Carl found Jane?
  8. From Shakir Rashan's Blog: What makes Daniel a hit with the public?
  9. From Alan Chin's Blog: Who did I want to be when I grew up?
  10. From Marie Sexton's Blog: Who painted the cover for Counterpoint?
  11. From Bryl Tyne's Blog: Which character stole Bryl's heart? 
  12. From Coffee Time Romance: Which two slaves are up for Sherrif's Auction? 
  13. From Amara's Place: What's the master's favorite meal? 
  14. From Rick Reed's Blog: How many host blogs was I looking for when I first started planning the tour? 
  15. From Brita Addams's Blog: What was the job title of the man who bought Daniel?
  16. From Aleksandr Voinov's Blog: Who did I rescue when I played make-believe with my sister as a child?
  17. From Kari Gregg's Blog: "NewWorld Media, the company that owns Daniel, needs to boost ______" (fill in the blank).
  18. From Desert Island Keepers: Who does Daniel blame for his punishments?

Individual Tour Stop Winners! (Free copies of Counterpoint courtesy of Guiltless Pleasure Publishing, yay!)
  1. Lisabet Sarai (free ebook, Nina Pierce stop)
  2. James L. Hatch (swag bag, Nina Pierce stop)
  3. Rawiya L (swag bag, Angela White stop)
  4. C. Zampa (free ebook, Angela White stop)
  5. Chaos in the Moonlight (swag bag, L.C. Chase stop)
  6. Christine Bell (free ebook, L.C. Chase stop)
  7. Barbara (free ebook, Billi Jean stop)
  8. Tracey D. (swag bag, Billi Jean stop)
  9. Mindy (swag bag, D. Renee Bagby stop)
  10. Dawn (free ebook, D. Renee Bagby stop)
  11. Lin W (free ebook, Nights of Passion stop)
  12. Lil' Grogan (swag bag, Nights of Passion stop)
  13. Shiela (free ebook, Reena Jacobs stop)
  14. Kari Gregg (swag bag, Reena Jacobs stop)
  15. She (swag bag, Shakir Rashan stop)
  16. Lil' Grogan (free ebook, Shakir Rashan stop)
  17. Bookworm (swag bag, Alan Chin stop)
  18. Alex (free ebook, Alan Chin stop)
  19. Ethan Stone (swag bag, Marie Sexton stop)
  20. Janel (free ebook, Marie Sexton stop)
  21. Dawn Staniszenski (swag bag, Bryl Tyne stop)
  22. Rie McGaha (free ebook, Bryl Tyne stop)
  23. Kayelle Allen (free ebook, Coffee Time Romance stop)
  24. Stevie Carroll (swag bag, Coffee Time Romance stop)
  25. Wusswoo (swag bag, Amara's Place stop)
  26. Brandi (free ebook, Amara's Place stop)
  27. Bookworm (free ebook, Rick Reed stop)
  28. Brandi (swag bag, Rick Reed stop)
  29. Amara (swag bag, Brita Addams stop)
  30. Tracey D (free ebook, Brita Addams stop)
  31. Tracykitn (swag bag, Aleksandr Voinov stop)
  32. Zarkina (free ebook, Aleksandr Voinov stop)
  33. Shiela (swag bag, Kari Gregg stop)
  34. Amara (free ebook, Kari Gregg stop)
  35. Amy Lane (free ebook, Desert Island Keepers stop)
  36. Lea (swag bag, Desert island Keepers stop)
Congrats to all the winners, and thanks to all who participated in the tour in any way! I'll be contacting each of the winners one by one, but if you haven't heard from me by tomorrow, you might want to poke me. And remember, just because you've already won doesn't mean you can't win again, so send in those answers! :D

Win Your Share of $100 in Prizes Today!

Greetings all. It is with both sadness and exhausted relief that I announce the very last day of the Anchored blog tour. And also with excitement, because today the only stop is right here at Fantasy Unbound, and the sole purpose of today's stop is to smother you with swag.

This post is a bit of a place-holder, but come this afternoon, I'll be posting up a bunch of easy questions. Easy, that is, if you've followed the tour (or if you're intrepid and feel like catching up today). I'll be posting one question for each tour stop. You might find the answer in the post, or you might find it in the comments. Email me your answers.

The person with the most correct answers will win the grand prize of the blog tour: An autographed trade paperback of Anchored, autographed trade paperback of Counterpoint, autographed trade paperback of Sublime, a pile of book-related swag, and a $10 Noble Romance gift certificate courtesy of Noble Romance Publishing! (Retail value over $50!) The person to answer the second-most questions will get the second prize: Ebook copy of Anchored, ebook copy of Counterpoint, ebook copy of Sublime, a pile of book-related swag, and a $10 Noble Romance gift certificate courtesy of Noble Romance Publishing! And the person to answer the third-most questions will win third prize: Ebook copy of Anchored and ebook copy of Sublime, plus a pile of book-related swag! If there's a tie, I'll select from among those with the most correct answers at random for first, second, and third.

I'll also be posting the full list of individual blog stop winners today. Some have already been notified, but many haven't, so keep an eye peeled for your name.

(On a side note, for those of you who've read Anchored and have questions or want to see more, remember that I'm taking short story requests for my upcoming collection!)

Thanks so very much to all of you who helped to make this tour such a delight: my gracious blog tour hosts, and you, my gracious readers. Check back this afternoon for the question list, and get your answers back to me by 11 PM eastern time on Tuesday night to be entered into the drawing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Taking Story Requests, and Kari Gregg Is Awesome

Well, one half of that blog title needs no explanation, so let me talk about the other half. You see, Kari Gregg . . .

Heh, just kidding. (ILU Kari.) So, this "taking story requests" thing. I'm currently working on a short story collection in the Anchored world. Four are already written:
  1. A sweet story about Daniel's first days at NewWorld at age ten, told through the eyes of a narrator one year older than him.
  2. A hot little blowjob-in-the-bathroom story between Daniel and the narrator from the first story, several years later.
  3. A little vignette from Tim's POV in his early days working with Daniel. (I may not be able to get this one up to snuff, so it may not end up in the collection.)
  4. A little vignette from Daniel's POV on the Fourth of July, shortly after being separated from Victor.
So, here's the thing. I need two more stories to complete the collection. I might end up writing three or four if there's time and sufficient inspiration. I have a bunch of ideas, but I also know that you guys have a bunch of questions, so I wanted to turn the floor over to you. Tell me what you want to read about? What periods in Daniel's life would you like to see? (Please note this whole collection takes place before the events in Anchored, so the Daniel/Carl relationship will have to wait for the book-length sequel.) Would you like to see the first time Daniel and Victor hook up? Make-up sex? A sweet romantic day off shared together? Daniel's awkward attempts to "breed" with a woman? (I know, I know, girl cooties . . . but it could be hilarious girl cooties; I'm willing to explore it.) A horny Daniel, post-forced-breakup, masturbating in his little private dorm room while fantasizing about Victor? Post your ideas in the comments. If I write your story, you win a free copy of the book when it releases and a thank-you in the acknowledgements.

Now, on to the other part of today's post, which is of course that today is the second-to-last day of the Anchored blog tour. And boy is it ever going out with a bang! First up is a stop at Kari Gregg's, where she has made a delicious video book trailer for Anchored. She's also posted a review that has me grinning ear to ear. (See? ---> :D :D :D)

The second stop today is over at the delightful Desert Island Keepers blog, where none other than Daniel himself is giving an interview. It took a lot of courage for Daniel to answer such frank questions, so I hope you'll go support the poor boy. He'll also be hanging around with the Desert Island ladies all day, so if you have any more questions for him, just ask them in the comments and he'll answer you if he can.

Meanwhile, I'll be hanging at the Noble Romance Yahoo Loop all day today ("today" being Saturday, GMT -5, despite my having essentially posted this Friday night). Come hang out, say hi, ask me anything you'd like to ask and chat about anything you'd like to chat about. I was told there would be punch and pie.*

As always, one commenter on each blog will win a free book, and one commenter on each blog will win a swag bag. See you there!

*Is this joke getting old yet?

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Blog Tour Continues, Now with Deleted Scene! (And Random Good News!)

Morning-- er, afternoon, folks. Apologies for the late start today; had to take my mom to the eye doc's this morning (she had cataract surgery yesterday and now doesn't need her glasses--I'm jealous!) and the wait was foreeeeeeeeeeeever.

(Aaaand, I just reminded myself of REO Speedwagon . . . When I said that I love you I meant that I love you foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever!)

Anyway, lots of excitement today on the Anchored blog tour. First up is a stop at author Brita Addams's blog, where those of you who've already bought the book (or those of you considering it) are in for a real treat: Brita has posted the entire deleted prologue--all five pages of it! The prologue was cut during the final edit so that the book could start right with the action, but there's a lot of history in that bit that I think readers will find interesting, and I'm very happy to be able to share it with you all. The second stop today is at my dear friend and Break and Enter co-writer Aleksandr Voinov's blog (and he's also written a few things himself here and there ;-p). He's apparently an even bigger slacker than I am, though, as his review isn't up yet. But visit his blog anyway; he's brilliant and occasionally funny and always full of wonderful insight about the M/M niche and publishing in general. Aleks has posted an interview that focuses in large part on the darker side of my fiction, which we all know is the bigger half by far ;-)

On a completely different note, AllRomanceEbooks has just written to tell me they'd like to use one of my short stories from Sublime as their free read in an upcoming weekly newsletter, so I'm super excited about that :D Don't know yet when it'll be out--they could well plan months ahead--but I'll be sure to let you know when it is.

Also in the good news department . . . If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I've been on the hunt for an agent to represent White Lies, a psychological thriller about a reporter who goes missing in Afghanistan for three months and wakes up in Turkey with no crew, a lot of bruises, and a giant hole in his memory. The first thing I discovered on the agent hunt is that it's easier to get published than it is to get representation . . . especially when you're trying to cross genres and there's no guarantee your romance fans will read your thrillers. But, despite that, I'm confident and in good spirits about it, and even managing the long waits without chewing up the walls too badly. It helps to have many encouraging moments, such as the one last night where an agent I'd absolutely love to be represented by contacted me and asked for the full manuscript. I queried her back in the beginning of December, and she asked for the first 50 pages the very next day. I know it can take several months for an agent to review a partial, so I wasn't expecting to hear back from her so soon. Fingers crossed she likes what she sees!

Well, that's enough rambling for today. Thanks as always for hanging in, and I hope to see you over at Brita and Aleks's blogs today. And remember, as always, one commenter on each blog will win a free book, and one commenter on each blog will win a free swag bag!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Secondary Character Hilarity

Morning folks, and welcome to Day 7 of the Anchored Release Party Blog Tour! Only two days to go after this, plus the grand raffle right here at Fantasy Unbound on the 23rd.

Sad to see it nearing its end, but very pleased to share today's activities with you! The first stop today is definitely one of my favorites so far: Amara over at Amara's Place has rounded up all the secondary characters in Anchored--Tim, Jane, Dave, and Eric Foster--stuck them in a room together, and bombarded them with questions. So if you've ever wondered how Jane and Dave met, or what exactly Tim's responsibilities are as Daniel's handler, or how it feels to Mr. Foster to "be such a prick," click here :-)

Today's second tour stop is very exciting for me, as it's being hosted by a virtual legend in the M/M community: Rick Reed. It's the third and final segment of the Reader Q&A, but of course if you have any more questions for me (or for Tim, Dave, Jane, or Mr. Foster), I and the secondary-character crew will be stopping in at both blogs throughout the day to answer them.

And as always, I'll be raffling away one free book at each blog, courtesy of Guiltless Pleasure Publishing; and one free swag bag at each blog. All you have to do to enter is comment.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marie-Nicole Ryan Talks Shop, Raffles Amazon Gift Certificate!

Good afternoon, my lovlies! Let's all give a warm Fantasy Unbound welcome to All Things Romantic Suspense guest author Marie-Nicole Ryan!

Marie-Nicole is here today to answer some questions about her life as a writer and her latest release, Love Me if You Can. She's also giving away a $5 gift certificate for either Amazon or B&N to one lucky commenter, so be sure to share your love!

First, as always, have a blurb:

Nashville sizzles in the summer. No wonder Tess and Scott combust.

Nashville Homicide Detective Tess O’Malley has a lot to prove. She comes from a long line of police officers, including her father and older brothers. First she and her partner are taken off a high profile case and sidelined with a cold case instead. After reviewing the files, she’s certain her cold case is connected to the current one, and she sets out to prove it. Too bad it means locking horns with a handsome PI who could win her heart and derail her career.

PI Scott Holt is all business when it comes to running his family’s PI firm. When the lovely Detective O’Malley comes to question him about his possible involvement in her cold case, he has everything but business on his mind. Like locking lips with the fiery redhead.

And now I turn the floor over to Marie-Nicole, beneath the jump.

Day 6 Update, and a Guest!

Good morning, folks. We've got some real fun going on today, including welcoming Marie-Nicole Ryan, author of Love Me if You Can, into the, er, warm folds of Fantasy Unbound.

Marie-Nicole will be stopping by shortly, and in the mean time, I hope you'll check out today's Anchored blog tour stops. First up on deck is a lovely review by the amazing Bryl Tyne, author of far, far too many stories to list here. Then the second stop is at the Coffee Time Romance blog, and features a bunch of classified ads from the Anchored world. What's for sale? Why, slaves, of course! These were a ton of fun (and frankly kind of disturbing) to put together, and I hope you'll check them out.

As always, one commenter on each blog will win a free ebook, and a second commenter on each blog will win a free swag bag. So drop in, say hi, and maybe you'll get lucky! :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm Not Dead, Yay (or, Day 5 of the Anchored Blog Tour)

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, I'm not dead. For those of you who don't, I had serious enough stomach pains last night to consider going to the hospital. I didn't because I don't have insurance, and figured that if I was still in agony this morning, then I'd go. After all, a few hours of pain could be something random that might go away on its own, but a solid day would probably require medical attention.

Fortunately, it seems like nothing(ish) after all. I'm still not feeling great, but the scary pain has faded. Hey, I'm even having a piece of toast.

So, efore this turns into an angry screed on the sorry state of US healthcare (and how, if I had been dead this morning, it would have been entirely because I wasn't willing to go bankrupt over what I figured was just a bout of the stomach flu, and yes, even just the tests to figure out what was wrong would have cost thousands of dollars I don't have), let's move on to much more exciting things than my gastrointestinal health. Like Anchored :D Which released yesterday, yay!

The tour is still on, of course, and today's two stops are both Reader Q&As. People sent in questions, I answered them, and my gracious hosts Alan Chin and Marie Sexton posted them. Check them out, say hi, and as always, comment to enter the drawings for a free book and a free swag bag!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Anchored RELEASE DAY! :D :D :D :D :D

Oh man oh man am I excited today, folks! Check it out! Anchored officially goes on sale today!

And of course it's Day 4 of the Anchored Release Party Blog Tour, with three stops today instead of just two.

If you've missed any of the action so far, scroll back to the posts for Days 1, 2, and 3 to find direct links to all the tour stops, which so far have included such awesomeness as the complete first chapter of Anchored up at D. Renee Bagby's First Chapters blog and L.C. Chase's mock newspaper ads. In fact, those ads are so amazing (and disturbing), here's one now.

On the docket today we have lots of goodies. First hop on over to the Noble Authors Blog, where I have a quick chat about worldbuilding--one of my favorite things to do as an author.

Next, head over to author Reena Jacob's blog, where you can read an interview of Carl Whitman, one of the heroes of Anchored. She also wrote a lovely review of Anchored.

Finally, pop on in to author Shakir Rashaan's blog to read a very interesting review of Anchored--the book as viewed through the eyes of a real-life "master." I found it fascinating to see how his preconceptions of the BDSM world shaped his view of Daniel and the Anchored world. The big difference, of course, is that even contractually committed 24/7 "slaves" in our world made the choice to be slaves. In the Anchored world, Daniel had no such privilege. (On a related note, Shakir's a very interesting man to talk to, and his blog is brand new. I hope you'll consider following him--and all my wonderful tour hosts, for that matter!) 

As always, two lucky commenters on each post will win a prize: one gets a free book, one gets a swag bag. So be sure to swing on by and say hi!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Anchored Release Party Blog Tour: Day 3

Morning folks! Did everyone get a chance yesterday to see the amazing artwork L.C. Chase made? If you didn't, go now. You'll be glad you did.

We've got some fun today too. First, head on over to D. Renee Bagby's "First Chapters" blog, where she posts complete first chapters of romance novels by author request. Today she's featuring the whole first chapter of Anchored. So if you read the excerpt at Angela White's and are anxious to see more, First Chapters should be your first stop.

Next head over to C. Margery Kempe's Nights of Passion, where you'll find another exclusive excerpt, this one from much further into the novel. Ms. Kempe also did an interview with me, posted above the excerpt.

That's all for today. Go show the ladies some love, and as always, comment for your chace to win a free book or a free swag bag! And don't forget to come back tomorrow for the Big Day: Anchored goes on sale tomorrow at Noble Romance Publishing!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Anchored Release Party Blog Tour: Day 2

Mornin', folks! Day 1 of the blog tour was a ton of fun, and I first wanted to say thank you to everyone who stopped by Angela White's and Nina Pierce's and chatted with us in the comments. It's still not too late to stop by and chat, and you might even be able to sneak in for the prize drawings there. (Some tour hosts will be waiting until the end of the tour to do their drawings, others will be doing the drawings at the end of their tour stop day.)

As for today? Boy oh boy, are you guys in for a treat. The brilliant and talented L.C. Chase--she's an author and an artist, who also did the cover art for Sublime: Collected Shorts!--has put together a newspaper page from the Anchored world, complete with ads and the story of how slave!L.C. made them. This one is can't-miss. Go there. Now. It's okay, I'll wait.

The second stop on the tour today is a review of Anchored by author Billi Jean that was frankly so lovely I'm not sure my head will fit through the door today. Which is a problem, because I really need to go to the post office. Be sure to hit this one up today, as Billi will be doing her prize drawings at the end of the day.

Of course I'll be hanging at both blogs throughout the day to chat with you guys, about Anchored or L.C.'s awesomeness or aything else. And of course two lucky commenters at each blog will be winning swag or a free book. I hope to see you all there!

In other news, I've volunteered to do book reviews for the Romance Studio. They'll probably be few and far between, but it's a great site and I thought it'd be fun to get out of my little corner of the internets every once in a while. First one coming soon, perhaps?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Anchored Release Party Blog Tour: Day 1

Greetings, folks! I'm super excited this morning, as today marks the first official day of the Anchored Release Party Blog Tour! As with most Tour days, there are two stops today, and not four but five opportunities to win a prize!

First stop is author Nina Pierce's blog, where I talk about the origin of the Anchored idea. Read the article and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ebook copy of Counterpoint: Book One of Song of the Fallen -or- an ebook copy of Sublime: Collected Shorts (winner's choice). A second lucky commenter will win a swag bag with some cover art goodies like autographed cover flats, bookmarks, magnets, and something bigger like a T-shirt, mug, mousepad, totebag, or the like. At this stop only, I'm raffling off a second swag bag as well to the first commenter who can name the three TV shows I reference in the article (this may be tricky; I admit to being a little obscure). So hurry on up and head over! :-)

Second stop is author Angela White's blog, where you can read the very first exclusive excerpt of Anchored, and also an interview Angela did with me. As with the first stop, one lucky commenter will win a free ebook, and a second lucky commenter will win a free swag pack.

I'll be hanging at both blogs throughout the day to answer questions and chat about the new release and anything else you guys may wish to discuss. I hope you'll come share my excitement :-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guest Blog: The Evolution of Dead Reality, by Jess Anastasi

Greetings, folks! Let's all give a warm, warm welcome to the very first guest blogger ever at Fantasy Unbound, Jess Anastasi!

Jess has a new novel with Noble Romance, and before I turn the floor over to her to talk about its evolution, let's start off with a blurb:

FBI Special Agent Ella Waverly is wrapping up one last assignment before heading off on her first holiday in five years. But thoughts of flip-flops and cocktails are the last thing on her mind when she meets the new team leader, Special Agent Bryce Lain, and finds out her long-planned-for holiday is being scuttled for an undercover assignment.

Agent Lain is gorgeous, the kind of gorgeous that guarantees he's an arrogant jerk. The news that he'll be her partner in the dangerous mission is almost enough to make her head explode. Before the day is out, Ella finds herself at Little Palm Island Resort in Florida, masquerading as a contestant on the latest reality TV show—Lord Bachelor. The bachelor in question, a disgraced British peer, is suspected of raping and murdering several women back in London.

Though Ella knows it safer where her heart's concerned to deny it, the longer she's stuck with Bryce, the more she sees there could be a man worth loving beneath the impossibly good-looking exterior.

As humidity frizzes her hair beyond the help of any type of de-frizzing, smoothing, glossing product, Ella tries to wrangle working against nineteen husband-hungry bimbos, one suspected serial killer, and one seriously hot agent who's trying everything he can to get under her skin.

And now Jess, below the jump.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Better Shovel the Walk, We're Having Visitors!

Morning, folks. Like so many of you, I am once again buried under a foot of snow. Not so crazy about shoveling out the walk and the car (which decided yesterday that it no longer wanted to start, grrr), but I do love being up before dawn and staring out at a world blanketed in silent, sparkly white. Few things in life are more beautiful than a fresh, deep coating of snow.

But enough about the weather outside; we've got some exciting things going on inside this week, too!

First--and yeah, okay, this may not exactly qualify as "exciting"--I'm being interviewed today over at S.R. Claridge's blog. Pop in and say hi; it gets cold and lonely out there by yourself. And while you're there, check out her place. She does some fun things.

Tomorrow, author Jess Anastasi will be stopping by right here to talk about the evolution of her new book, Dead Reality. Any book whose opening line is "They didn't have a nuclear bomb." is probably going to be a thrill a minute, so be sure to pop in and say hello.

Then on Friday, of course, the Anchored Release Party Blog Tour kicks off!

First stop is author Nina Pierce's blog, where you can read about how the Anchor idea was born (and also goatees), and comment to win a free book or a swag bag! Second stop, also on Friday, is the first exclusive excerpt from Anchored, and an interview with me by author Angela White. There too you can comment to win a free book or a swag bag. For those of you who have been waiting to read the book, this is your first chance. At both stops, I'll be hanging throughout the day to chat with you all in the comments. Ooh, and look, I have a shiny new book page over at Noble! This is where the book will go up for sale on January 17.

And now off to finish final proofing on Anchored and go ruin all that pretty fresh snow :-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So Long Dear Cave, Hello Jess Anastasi!

Phew, Anchored edits are done! (Well, mostly; I will have one final pass to make, but that should be quick.) No, please, hold your applause; you're embarrassing me.

I'm now free to emerge from my editing cave, but I think I'm too tired to move. Tomorrow, then. It's nice and dark and cool in here anyway, and besides, the bear left hours ago.

Did you guys see all those crazy events I've got going in the next few months? I'm participating in the All Things Romantic Suspense (ATRS) guest-blog exchange, and my very first stop is at S.R. Claridge's blog this Wednesday. Who's my favorite character among all those I've written? None, of course; like any good mother, I love them all equally. Stop by her blog to find out!

And don't forget to check in this Thursday, when ATRS author Jess Anastasi will be stopping by to talk about the history and process of her new release. I always love learning how my favorite books spring into being, don't you? So bring comfortable shoes and show her your love as she walks you through her latest creation. Complimentary cocktails will be served at the conclusion of the tour.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Free Book, New Page, and Vistaprint Is a Disease

Afternoon, folks! I'm retreating from my editing cave just long enough to assure you all I'm not dead yet, although after so long without good sleep, I'm starting to feel that way. (I think I sent my editor an email last night that said, in its entirety, "God you're awesome." And then something about magnets and shiny things. Too afraid to check my sent mail to find out.)

So, three quick things for your attention today:

One, there's a new free book in town, and It. Is. Awesome. The M/M Romance group over at Goodreads hosted a wonderful stocking-stuffer writing event in December. Readers got to write letters to santa based on any erotic photo they wanted. Writers got to read said letters (and gaze longingly at said photos) and pick one as a prompt for a short story. The result? Twenty-five (often hilarious) wishes for Santa, and twenty-five free short stories from some of your favorite gay erotic romance writers (M.J. O'Shea, A.J. Llewellyn, Serena Yates, Kim Dare, Mark Alders, and so many more!). The stories posted individually, one (and occasionally two) a day, but now you can find them all in a lovely little package, free for download in the format of your choice on Goodreads. I have a little free read in this book too, a BDSM fic called "Pony Up." You'll never guess what it's about ;-p

Next up, you'll notice I've been adding some new pages to my website. My Books (a list of, well, my books) and Coming Soon (a list of most of the projects I have in the works, sorted by their various stages of competion/publication) have been up there a few days now, as has the Anchored Blog Tour page, which is a hub for all the great activities and swag with schedules, links, prize pack details, etc. But the Upcoming Events page is new, so please, hop on over and have a look! It's a great way to keep abreast of blogs I'll be visiting and bloggers who will be visiting here, as well as the occasional giveaway or industry event. Also, $10 says it'll make you laugh* :-)

Last up, with new cover art in my greedy little hands, I hopped over to Vistaprint yesterday to order swag swag swag! I . . . may have gone a little overboard. I can't help it; it's a disease. You all will simply have to help me find homes for all this stuff by following the blog tour and winning it. Or not winning it and getting some anyway. Because, seriously, I may need to put an addition on the house to store it all. In fact, if you want a free magnet and an autographed Anchored cover flat (and who knows, maybe some other stuff too), just leave a comment on this post, and I'll mail it to you when my stuff arrives in a few weeks. 

Well, that's it for me, folks. Back into my editing cave. Until next time!

*Will you accept an unsigned third-party check? No? Okay, how about some swag? I'll have it leaking out my ears soon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Quick Roundup - Update, Now With Anchored Cover Art :D :D :D

Short post today, folks. Heck, let's break out the bullet points :D

  • Working on final edits for Anchored. I'm basically in my edit-cave until they're done. Send pizza. Preferably with this guy.
  • Just saw the cover mockup for the Anchored book cover tonight. I am floored. Fiona Jade does some amazing work, and she and Noble Romance were very open to using the photo I suggested might be perfect for Daniel (if you want to nom some artistic hotties for yourself, check out StudioJames.com!). She took that pick and made magic. Update: Here it is!

  • Speaking of floored by graphics, I'm currently working on some "newspaper ads"--in the styling of this one by my brilliant Guiltless Pleasure editor Tal Valante--with the equally brilliant L.C. Chase for her stop on the blog tour. (And by "working on," I mean throwing text and concepts at her and expecting her to work her ninja graphic brilliance.) There may be some sneak peeks in the near future, but for now, you will have to take my word for it that these are so worth waiting for that the wait is nearly unbearable. I love all my tour stops equally (as all good mommies should), but I may well end up loving L.C.'s stop a little more equally than the others, if you know what I mean ;-)
  • I'm having guests! I've officially opened my site to guest bloggers once the Anchored Release Party Blog Tour is done, so stay tuned for some awesome posts from some awesome people. (If you're awesome and would like to come here to talk about awesome things, just drop me an email at metarachel at gmail dot com.) The first bit of awesome scheduled is author Brita Addams, who will be dropping by on January 25 to talk about the history behind her upcoming release, Splendid Captivity, an M/M/F menange with Noble Romance. I hear there may be some whips and chains involved. Or maybe I just dreamed that; most of my dreams seem to involve whips and chains . . .
  • Linky goodness! As my regular readers have probably noticed, this blog is still a bit of a work in progress. I've added pages recently, and some gadgets to my sidebars. Today's addition is a blog list in the left sidebar (not to be confused with the list of Anchored blog tour stops in the right sidebar), which will be growing over the coming weeks. There you'll find links to the sites I visit regularly, reviewers, indie-friendly booksellers, fellow authors, and the occasional bit of random fun/hotness. I hope you'll check it out. And if you'd like to be added, drop me an email and I'll check you out.
  • Twitter is a strange and wonderful place. I got into a long conversation--140 characters at a time--last night with @krisngoodbooks about her plans to secede from Australia. She stipulated--quite wisely, IMO--that since the've been working together for over 30 years, she ought to get half of everything Australia owns. I believe she requested Hugh Jackman and a platypus. I told her I'd assist her litigation if she gave me Anthony Warlow, Andy Whitfield (and no, I probably wouldn't treat him any better than that), and a kangaroo. Somehow this led to a discussion of Tim Tams, and the long and short of it is that Miss Kris is so amazing that she's mailing me some because I've never tried them. So, I highly recommend--in a not-at-all-Tim-Tam-bribe-fueled-recommendation sort of way--that you visit her site and follow her on Twitter. Because, seriously? She's hilarious. And the world needs more hilarity.

Hmm, I'm not sure when this quick update turned into a full-fledged blog post, but, like most of my writing, it seems to have gotten away from me. So, time to return now to my editing cave. I hope to emerge again soon, blinking and fishlike in the sun, to show off some hot hot Anchored cover art. Until then, mah peeps!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Poll Time! And Also I'm You're Awesome!

A poll, if you would, for my Goodreads peeps (or those who, like me, simply can't resist pushing a button, any button, no matter what for):

What's your opinion on event invitations at Goodreads?
They're great; I love to see what's going on with my favorite authors (or, you know, that Rachel chick)
I don't mind them, as long as no one person sends me too many
Meh, I ignore them or delete them unread
I'm not on Goodreads, but I can't resist voting in polls

Free polls from Pollhost.com

And now for the awesome:

Yes, my friends, that is a current (as of this evening) screenshot of Counterpoint: Book I of Song of the Fallen cracking the Top 100 charts in the Gay and Lesbian Genre Fiction category. Thanks so much to all of you for supporting my writing, and especially to those of you who take the time to rate and review a book--be it mine or others', I love seeing M/M books get some love!--when you're done. Whatever small success I can claim is all because of my brilliant writing you :D

Monday, January 3, 2011

Strange Days and Sneak Peeks

Sometimes it really strikes me what a wonderfully strange life I have. I think this is part and parcel of being a writer, but some writers are definitely weirder than others.

For instance, I've just spent the last several hours making "supplemental" materials for the Belonging 'verse (the alternate universe in which Anchored: Belonging Book One takes place) for the upcoming Release Party Blog Tour. Weird, weird material. Like ten classified ads for slaves for sale--a feature that will appear on the Coffee Time Romance blog on January 19. And a newspaper ad for a jeweler who sells high-class slave cuffs for expensive slaves (thanks to my GPP editor Tal for doing the dirty work on that one!). Thirty minutes spent sifting through stock photos of women wearing bracelets? Sure, why not; it beats editing ;-) Now I'm debating a night-school course list for owners willing to pay for their slaves to pick up new skills.

EDIT: Speaking of newspaper ads, here's Tal's now.

Because really, you wouldn't dress your half-million-dollar pleasure slave in rags, would you?

I also had the pleasure of slipping on my Daniel hat today--Daniel is the slave star of Anchored--and answering some probing questions about his life for a character interview that will appear on Desert Island Keepers on January 22. Alas, the "Boxers or briefs?" crowd will remain in the dark, but you'll definitely be learning some interesting things about Daniel's past, in his own words.

More blog tour craziness coming soon, folks. Be sure to check back often for the Most Fun You'll Ever Have with Real Slavery. (Wow, too tacky?) And, ooh, speaking of checking back, did you guys notice that pretty new box in the upper right corner? The one that says "Subscribe via email?" Isn't it shiny? :-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Review of Fugly, by K.Z. Snow. 3 of 5 Stars.

Click the cover art to purchase Fugly at Amazon.com.
Cover Blurb

What happens to a young man's self-image, and his sex life, when he wakes up one morning to see his good looks significantly altered for the worse? Three twenty-something gay friends—an embalmer, a movement coach, and a literary agent—find out the answer when they hit on the wrong patron of a club one night.

Todd, Fallon, and Jake, aka the Hunt Club, think they're pretty damned hot. As a result, their standards for worthwhile hook-ups are appallingly superficial. The men aren't total jerks; they just need an adjustment in perspective. And they get it, in spades, from a mysterious stranger who's sick of seeing his beautiful partner pawed by dawgs.

There’s no medical explanation for the hideous rashes that erupt on the trio overnight. Doctors can’t even detect it, much less cure it. Still, the Hunt Club’s mirrors reflect ravaged faces, and the toned, handsome guys they normally pursue now shun them.

As the vulnerability that’s always lurked beneath their vanity begins to surface, Todd, Fallon, and Jake begin to see themselves and potential partners in a new light. Little did they know that in the eyes of three ordinary, overlooked men on the sidelines of their lives, it's always been the heart that’s mattered far more than the hot.


No question about it, K.Z. Snow writes beautifully. At least half a dozen turns of phrase stopped me cold with their cleverness, with a new way of framing a common thought or a recasting of a metaphor. Very, very clean and well-done.

The story, however, did little for me. I liked it, but I felt no real passion for it. For me, at least, I think a big part of the problem was how far she stretched what should have been a short story rather than a novella. Essentially, she tells the exact same story three different times: the triumph of internal over external beauty, told once for each of the three affected characters. Alas, once period would have been enough. As a short following only one character, the story would have been tight and fresh to the end. Three times over, I was bored halfway through the second, and stuck with the third only because it was so beautifully written.

The other thing that particularly threw me about Fugly was the shift from 1st person POV to what seemed to waver between close and omniscient 3rd, and then back to 1st again at the end. I couldn't determine at first, after the switch from 1st to 3rd, if the narrator in the first part was the same guy being referred to in the second part (although eventually it was made clear that, yes, it is the same man).

As much as I'd have preferred this be one story told once rather than three times, I must say that the level of attention and care that went into constructing each of the characters' lives was tremendous. I've never learned so much about embalming in my life; K.Z. clearly did her research, and I think that went a long way toward painting a large number of fairly well-realized characters in a fairly short amount of space.

On a final note, I've gotta give a HOLY CRAP to the cover artist. Gorgeous work, both as a standalone and as a perfect fit to the story. I've used the full-sized image here because, really, it's just that amazing.

Overall, Fugly wasn't a bad way to pass an evening. I felt like I was being bludgeoned repeatedly over the head by the moral of the story, but at least it was a beautifully written bludgeon :-) I can't give Fugly a ringing endorsement, but nor would I put anyone off from it. And I feel comfortable saying that K.Z. is one of the best craftsmen on a sentence level that I've come across so far in the M/M genre. In fact, her talent as a wordsmith shines through so brightly here that I'll definitely be giving her another try. Or two. Or three :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

We Have a Winner -- And You Can Be One, Too!

Happy New Year to you all, and an extra special congratulations to diane.nyc, who won my first-post contest for an autographed copy of Counterpoint: Book I of Song of the Fallen! (Diane, I've sent you an email.) For the methodology wonks among us (*sheepishly raises hand*), I assigned each follower a number (1 to 25), and each comment on the first post a number (26 to 54). I then hopped over to Random.org and used the true random number generator. It spit out "1."

Now, how can you still be a winner? A couple ways. The first is to ask me a question: anything you've ever wanted to know about writing/editing/publishing/creating in general, or about my process/books/characters/life/future projects in particular. (But please, do try to refrain asking about my Three Mile Island toes ;-p) For organization's sake, please be sure to leave your question on the Ask An Author post, rather than this one. I'll be divvying up your questions into three groups, and featuring each group on a different blog during the Anchored Release Party Blog Tour.

Which brings me to your other way to win a free copy of Counterpoint. I'll be stopping at approximately fifteen different blogs during the Anchored Release Party Blog Tour (schedule to come soon), and every single one of the host blogs will be raffling off an ebook copy of Counterpoint, courtesy of my amazing publisher, Guiltless Pleasure Publishing (who is currently open for novel-length submissions, by the way, and offering a whopping $750 advance!). How do you win one of those free copies? Easy! Just stop by each host blog during the tour and leave a meaningful comment (i.e., one that adds to the conversation, rather than "Ooh, grabby-hands please!" ;-p). At the end of the tour, stop right back here at Fantasy Unbound for an opportunity to win even more and bigger prizes.

Well, that's enough of the hard sell for me today. I hear hard sells and hangovers don't mix. (Does anything mix with hangovers?) Hope you all had a fantabulous New Years Eve and that you'll all have a fantabulous 2011 ahead of you. Thanks for helping to make my New Year a little more fun, exciting, and promising than the last.
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