It's been a very long February for me. Some unhappy family issues pulled me away from writing for about two weeks, and I'm only now caught up. That said, a lot has happened recently that I want to fill you in on, so I'm going to write another long post full of fun information. Read on:
Submissions to NineStar Press:
That's it for news for February. I know there's a lot going on, and it's probably going to continue being a fire hose deluge of things to do until at least this time next year. I'm enjoying it, though, and I'm so glad you're all sticking through it all with me as we all patiently wait for all my books to become available again.
I can't tell you how many blog posts I've written this month where, just before I was ready to post, I got more news and had to rewrite. I think this is my third or fourth attempt to get out a blog post, but there's so much to tell you I'm just going to post what I have, and I may end up writing another blog post tomorrow. Either way, this post is really long, but I promise there's exciting stuff inside. Read on:
Submissions to NineStar Press:
I hope everyone had a very happy new year! I couch surfed and watched the ball drop, which was fun for me. I keep writing 19 rather than 20 for the year, but I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually.
On to book news:
Ge-Mi: Nevada has been sent to a cover artist. NineStar doesn't work with an illustrator. What that means is they can't keep the original cover because they don't have someone that can continue with the same style cover for the next books in the series. Ge-Mi will therefore be getting a fresh new look. I have to admit I'm bummed. I designed the original cover myself and had grand plans for the rest of the series. I was really looking forward to seeing how the artist brought my characters to life in the next covers. That won't happen now. That said, there are definitely benefits to the new cover. The new cover might actually be safe for work, which means you can read it in public, and won't be as confusing for readers that saw a naked man on the cover and immediately thought erotica rather than romance. I can't wait to see what the new cover looks like, and as soon as I have a final copy I'll be sure to share it with you all.
I haven't gotten any new edits yet, but I'm expecting them any day. I also haven't heard yay or nay from NSP regarding my Wizard Wars series. There's still a few more weeks left before their timeline ends, so I'm trying to be patient as I wait.
Since patience is hard, and since I know a bunch of you were excited when I originally announced Wounded Alpha, I decided to go ahead and finish shining that story up. I have just submitted it to NSP. It fits within a theme they put out an internal call for, so I'm hopeful I'll hear before the 16 week timeline. Wish me luck!
And now I have to decide what story or series I want to fix up and submit to NSP next. Since I just submitted yet another fantasy/paranormal story, I'm wondering if this might be a good time to slide my lone contemporary series across their doorstep. Road To is my modern day spy thriller, but it's also one of my oldest series. I'm honestly not certain NSP would be interested, but I do think it's worth a try. What do you guys think?
LT3 emailed me to let me know Road to Revenge, the first book in my Road To duology, will be going out of print on January 1, 2018 (tomorrow). They asked if I was interested in renewing the contract, to which I immediately replied yes. This isn't going to be a huge rigamarole like with Dragon's Hoard. Road to Revenge will get shined up a bit with a quick edit, but it shouldn't even have an interruption in sales. Dragon's Hoard was down for weeks while it went through editing and getting new covers, which Road to Revenge honestly doesn't need. Still, it's nice to see Road to Revenge getting a bit of spotlight for once.
On another note, I completed the second round of edits for Kelpie Blue mostly on time. They are headed back to the editor for another round, but I can really see the improvement in the story so far. It's far smoother to read through and now that the edits aren't making me want to tear my hair out, I'm relearning to love my crazy kelpie. March seems so far away, but it will come soon enough, and then all of you will be able to read it too. I can't wait.
I have written over 1k words in Ge-Mi: Part Two today and I hope to continue adding more to the story the rest of this long weekend. It's not even close to being complete, but I'm liking where it's going. I'm building up right now to introduce a new character that will add some tension to Nevada and Taylor's relationship. I am also working towards getting the plot reintroduced, which requires setting up some twists and turns that I hope readers will enjoy. There's a lot of little things to get right, so it's slow going, but it is going and that's what's important.
LT3 is turning five and to celebrate they are holding a huge giveaway! All of their books are on sale and from April 7-10 they're giving away dozens of books for free. Road to Revenge will be given away on April 9 and Finding the Wolf on April 10. Get your free copies today and don't forget to stock up on all the other books too! Click on the banner below to be sent to more information.
Road to Revenge is one of my favorite books that I've written. Is it odd to have a favorite among your own stories? It probably is, but oh well. It started off as a what if thought: what if I wrote something to do with my Masters degree. I lived for an entire year in Israel while I was studying counter terrorism and homeland security from experts in the field. I worked damn hard to get my education, but since the job market sucks I haven't been able to actually use it. So, what if I put together a story about fighting terrorism in Israel?
At first the answer was clear. After writing exclusively fantasy how could I suddenly branch into contemporary fiction? My readers wouldn't follow me. Up to this point The Dragon's Hoard series was selling like hotcakes and everyone was cooing over Cleanly Wrong, my brownie story. I felt like I was stuck in a specific niche of writing and breaking out of that could hurt me as an author more than it would help. Chances were also very high that Less Than Three Press wouldn't take such an eccentric story since there was nothing else similar in their book market. I couldn't find any books centered around real world politics on their site. I refocused myself on finishing Melting the Ice Witch instead.
Then LT3 posted an anthology call titled Kiss Me At Midnight. They were asking for a short story of less than ten thousand words along the theme of a new beginning. I had all sorts of ideas floating through my head: fantasy worlds, vampires, and maybe even another brownie. Yet none of those fleeting ideas went anywhere on paper. I sat down in front of my computer and just wrote, throwing all my ideas about magic out the window as I let my fingers go on the keyboard. Hadash Aviv was the result and I absolutely loved it. It was intrigue and mystery, coupled with the beginning of a love story and the end of a salvation story. I titled it Hadash Aviv, which means New Spring in Hebrew, and decided it was a perfect fit for Kiss Me At Midnight. But would LT3 take it? The love story was strong and central to the plot, but it had that tricky element of modern politics woven throughout. I was half-convinced that LT3 would reject it, but they are first and foremost a romance publisher. Hadash Aviv is definitely a romance book. I submitted it, thinking I was taking a chance on a long shot, and LT3 wholeheartedly accepted it.
Hadash Aviv got the reception I expected from readers. None of my fantasy readers picked it up, but since it was part of an anthology people did eventually read it. The general consensus was: great book, but too short. I received no bad reviews. Hadash Aviv was even nominated for M/M Romance's 2013 Member's Choice Awards in the Best Law Enforcement category. In short, if someone read Hadash Aviv, they loved it. I just wasn't getting a lot of people to actually read it. Maybe, just maybe, a longer book with more plot and intrigue would draw in a larger reader base. I decided to take another chance and Road to Revenge was born.
Despite having a Master's degree in Counter Terrorism Studies, I still had to do hours and hours of research to ensure every facet of the book was correct. It took me months to write Road to Revenge and it turned out to be as opposite of The Dragon's Hoard as any book written by the same author could be. There wasn't any magic, for one, but my main couple was already established. The story wasn't about their romance as they met and slowly learned more about each other. Rather, they were married and the honeymoon period was long gone. Love, however, had not faded in the least. When Mihi is hurt in a terrorist bombing, his husband Rafi can think of nothing else except taking revenge on the people who hurt the most precious thing in Rafi's life: Mihi. It's a love story about being so deeply in love that nothing else matters. Yet the terrorists are still out there and they're planning more attacks, which means that Rafi has to make the difficult choice between being with Mihi and saving the world.
I eventually submitted it to LT3 with a warning that it might have what some would call delicate subject matter. Delicate is a polite way to describe current Mid-East politics, but LT3 wasn't daunted in the least. Road to Revenge was set to come out on July 3, 2013. Within a few hours of its release date it received a best-seller star on All Romance. It was selling! I couldn't believe it! Like Hadash Aviv, Road to Revenge received no bad reviews. It actually has the highest rating out of all my books on Goodreads.
Road to Revenge is one of my favorite books because it challenged me. I was forced to use and expand on my education. I had to change my writing style to accommodate the difficult subject matter. Every bit of sweat that went into the book was totally worth it, which means a lot to me. I recently finished the sequel, titled Road to Home. In less than twenty four hours LT3 accepted it. They're not daunted by the series being different and neither am I. Will Road to Home be the final book in the series? I don't know. But I'm so glad I wrote Road to Revenge. That's really all that matters.
Ge-Mi: Part Two
May 18, 2020
Mell Eight is an author writing with NSP. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.