Category Archives: Reviews
The Good: The Evernight Readers’ Choice Awards were held on Saturday and Deep Water was first runner up in Best Menage category, while Breaker Zone was first runner up in the Best Erotic category. Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me — I truly appreciate each and every one of you!
The Bad: I seem to be in a moderately bad mood today and I don’t know why. It could just be that I have a metric buttload of cleaning to do around here before I can put up the Christmas decorations and for reasons that I don’t understand a family member is stating on FB that I won’t have anything up this week. Whatever.
The Croggling: I was looking for Empress of Storms reviews today and found one that, to be honest, had me o_0 at first, then laughing, then absurdly flattered. The reviewer, who is also a noted writer of SF and fantasy, had this to say about EoS:
“This book was so good-hearted I forgave it the things that bothered me, #1 of which was that I couldn’t tell if it was set in our world or a second world; all the names were definitely Greek and so were the cities, but the mythology was wrong and there was magic? But a political intrigue story with several twists in it, about a young queen affianced to an older king of another nation, and their relationship and how it affects their countries and their enemies. Definitely a fantasy novel, but the romance elements were strong; particularly, all the erotic scenes were explicit, and other than the first one (which establishes some important groundwork for the partnership) there’s no real plot reason for the rest of them. People who dislike explicit sex scenes for the point of explicit sex scenes will probably be annoyed.”
She then went on to review a MM contemporary romance, concluding with “Also explicit, but more pertinent to the plot (oddly enough) than the previous book, which wasn’t a romance.”
*goes back to check book notes*
*checks categories on Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords*
*confirms that yup, I wrote a fantasy erotic romance*
I just read this to Ramón. He replied, “So let me get this straight. A member of SFWA read your book, which was an erotic romance with fantasy elements, and thought it was a fantasy novel with gratuitous sex. So essentially you wrote a romantic pastiche of high fantasy that worked so well it passes for actual high fantasy.”
Then he paused. “You realize this means it’s eligible for a Hugo.”
I think we scared the cats with our cackling.
(ATTENTION: There will be a great deal of profanity in this post. You have been warned.)
Well, fuck me. I did my usual check for reviews this morning and stumbled across a pirate site called readpremiumbooks dot com that has Empress of Storms.
612 downloads. Allow me to repeat that — SIX HUNDRED AND TWELVE DOWNLOADS. And that’s just from this one site. That’s $1,709.32 that I lost, assuming that people would have bought it through Amazon. That would’ve been enough to pay our bills this month and have cash left over for Christmas presents (and things are really goddamned tight around Castle Cameron right now).
And you wonder why I despise pirates. Not all of us are bestselling authors who can blow off piracy as a left-handed form of promotion. For some of us that income means paying the bills, or the mortgage, or picking up necessary medicine. But apparently people think I don’t need that money — hey, I’m a writer, I must be rolling in it, I won’t notice one pirated copy.
Surprise, motherfucker. I notice. So do my creditors. And I can’t even send these RPE fuckers a DMCA takedown because they advertise themselves as an “external affiliate” who cannot guarantee the presence of a particular file because they draw from third-party sites.
But losing income actually isn’t the most irritating thing about this. Want to know what’s really chapping my ‘nads? EoS has 41 fucking reviews on this site, all of which appear to be five stars. I can’t get people to leave me reviews on Amazon, but pirate sites? No problem. Goddamn it, I offered the book FOR FREE if people would just leave an honest review in return. Not one nibble did I get. But they’ll go to a pirate site that could be loading their ereaders with Cthulhu knows what sort of malware to get reading material AND LEAVE REVIEWS THERE.
And people wonder why I drink.
Namely, would any of you be interested in a VERY low-traffic newsletter from me where I ping you maybe once a month about new releases, progress reports on WIPs, teaser chapters, amusing pictures of my cats, etc. Please respond wherever you read this or in the comments on my blog — if there’s enough interest I’ll put it together.
Happy Friday, darlings, and do I have a special treat for you today! I’m participating in The Novel Tease’s blog tour for Tiffany Reisz and I’ll be reviewing The Saint, the latest book in Tiffany’s groundbreaking Original Sinners series. Not only do you get an incredible preview of the book, but Tiffany’s also holding an amazing Rafflecopter giveaway of her titles, so read on!
In the beginning, there was him.
Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn’t want to break. She’s sick of her mother’s zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she’ll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Søren Stearns and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Suddenly, daily Mass seems like a reward, and her punishment is the ache she feels when they’re apart. He is intelligent and insightful and he seems to know her intimately at her very core. Eleanor is consumed—and even she knows that can’t be right.
But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. She vows to repay him with complete obedience…and a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets.
Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19311457-the-saint
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1sZJn31
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-saint-tiffany-reisz/1116914524?ean=9780778316145
About Tiffany Reisz
Tiffany Reisz lives with her boyfriend (a reformed book reviewer) and two cats (one good, one evil). She graduated with a B.A. in English from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is making both her parents and her professors proud by writing BDSM erotica under her real name. She has five piercings, one tattoo, and has been arrested twice.
When not under arrest, Tiffany enjoys Latin Dance, Latin Men, and Latin Verbs. She dropped out of a conservative southern seminary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a smut peddler. Johnny Depp’s aunt was her fourth grade teacher. Her first full-length novel THE SIREN was inspired by a desire to tie up actor Jason Isaacs (on paper). She hopes someday life will imitate art (in bed).
If she couldn’t write, she would die.
Read Chapter 1 of The Saint via Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/227548549/The-Saint-by-Tiffany-Reisz-Chapter-Sampler
Read Eleanor and Kingsley Finally Meet via Tiffany Reisz’s author site: http://bit.ly/UMTvm4
I’ve loved the Original Sinners books since a friend first recommended The Siren and I wound up devouring it in a day. The Red Years books were a tour de force detailing of a woman unlike any other in modern romance books — Nora Sutherlin, professional dominatrix, switch, erotica writer, and former mistress to a Catholic priest. She broke all the rules for a romantic heroine, and you cheered her on every step of the way through the Red Years as she had to chose between Søren, a priest and sadist who had loved her since she was 15 years old, and Wesley, her stunning virginal intern with his own secrets.
The White Years books are prequels that show how Nora Sutherlin was born from the ashes of Eleanor Schreiber, a tough, scarred girl caught between an absentee father who runs a Mob chop shop and a mother who wants to be a nun. In The Saint, 15-year-old Eleanor finds out that the new priest at Sacred Heart rides a Ducati motorcycle and agrees to go to Mass that Sunday simply to see it. But her first sight of Father Marcus Stearns is what sets off an explosion in Eleanor’s heart and soul, forming a bond that makes her determined to belong to him. It isn’t until she gets into serious legal trouble, however, that she makes a deal with the man she’s told to call Søren that will turn her need into reality. If she will obey him forever, he will give her everything. But there’s always a cost for getting what you want, and in The Saint both Eleanor and Nora must pay for following their hearts.
Ms. Reisz has a gift for creating fascinating, utterly realistic characters, and this gift surges to the fore in The Saint. The roots of Nora Sutherlin (including the source of her last name) are brilliantly delineated in the way Eleanor Schreiber grows from a smart, lonely, defensive teenager to a mature, wickedly witty college student with a soul-deep love for Søren. Eleanor’s behavior, actions and choices range from hilarious to achingly difficult, but they all serve to make her the woman that will become the Nora Sutherlin we know from the Red Years. As a reader who always likes to know what makes a character tick, this look into Eleanor’s past was incredibly satisfying, and I’m looking forward to learning more about Kingsley in the next White Years book.
To celebrate the release of The Saint, Ms. Reisz is holding a Rafflecopter giveaway where you can win a signed copy of The Saint, the eBook of Ms. Reisz’s novella series The Last Good Knight, a copy of Ms. Reisz’s The Confessions of Marcus Stearns (limited edition, not for sale), and the eBook of The Mistress Files. (Giveaway is open to US residents only.)
Storm Season released on Friday. As of now, I’ve gotten 3 five star reviews on Goodreads, a five star review on Amazon, a five star rating in All Romance Ebooks plus a killer hella good review, I’ve made it twice into three genre bestseller lists on Amazon.de and once into a genre bestseller list on Amazon.com, and the general impression seems to be that it’s a good book and the start to a good series.
Which is a fucking relief.
I can hear you out there — “Dramatic much, Nic?” But it’s my first book, it’s the kickoff to a proposed series that I really, really want to write, and I’ve learned over the years that what entertains me doesn’t always entertain normal people. And I’ll admit, I was worried about the reception Storm Season would get from the reading public. Yes, it’s MMM erotic romance, but it also has a strong mystery subplot, a fantasy/paranormal setting, and includes some big ol’ science fiction elements (as you may have guessed, I have some problems coloring inside the lines).
And readers don’t always like it when a writer mixes and matches genres as extensively as I did here. I was concerned that they might feel I pulled a bait and switch on them, which was never my intention. So to find out that Storm Season is getting a good reception and readers are enjoying the genre mashup (at least so far — I rest assured in the knowledge that I will get reviews questioning my literacy, my humanity, and my general right to exist) is a pleasure that renders me somewhat lightheaded. One reviewer at Goodreads who doesn’t read nontraditional romance even said, “I was completely in awe of this book … So unlike anything I had read in a long, long time.”
And I was compared to Spielberg. Whoa. Still grinning over that one…
The Cinderella story is a classic fairy tale that lends itself particularly well to retellings in a variety of genres; perhaps too much so, considering how many romance novels use the “poor girl meets rich man, loses him, then gains him again after a search” trope. With that in mind, Cecilia Tan takes the familiar fairy tale and turns it on its head, reimagining it as a grand, lush erotic romance set in New York that sets you on a slow, captivating burn.
Slow Surrender follows the developing relationship between Karina, an art history grad student who is more familiar with the pre-Raphaelites than what she wants from life, and James, a handsome, mysterious businessman with issues of his own and a taste for sensual BDSM. No, this is not 50 Shades Yet Again, thank Cthulhu for small favors. For one thing, Karina is intelligent, quirky, and has a backbone and no inner goddess. And James is a sexual sadist with a heart of glass and a secret past — emotionally fragile as he is intensely dominant, he’s as much the Cinderella character as Karina is. Their developing courtship is full of secrets and discoveries, and is deliciously kinky as well as emotionally satisfying. You’ll be rooting for both of them to find their happy ever after together, despite the odds.
The question is, will they? I warn you, this is a trilogy (don’t blame the author — that was a publishing decision, not hers) and ends on a cliffhanger. But with a story as captivating and well-written as Slow Surrender, you’ll love the agony of waiting for the next installment.
Most of today was spent putting together the general outline for Behind the Iron Cross, then shifting around various chapters and chapter contents to fit said outline. I’ve come up with the Act One and Two climaxes — still working on how to present the Act Two midpoint, when Friedrich has his little come-to-Jesus epiphany about what he’s doing with Sam and Kat, but it’ll all work out. And once again, I am so damn glad I spent out and bought Scrivener — it’s just so much easier to compare/contrast, shift stuff around, and keep detailed notes about each chapter than with Word.
Of course, some of Scrivener’s features can get you in trouble. Frex, the husband walked up behind me last night while I was working on Cross. Scrivener has a split screen feature that allows you to load whatever you like into each screen — different chapters, different sections of a chapter, or reference pictures. In my case, I had a rather nice topless picture of the actor whom I mentally cast as Friedrich. So when the husband came up behind me and went quiet when he saw Tall, Blue-eyed and German/Irish, I thought, “Uh-oh.”
“It’s just for inspiration,” I explained.
“It doesn’t mean anything,” I said.
“I mean, I’m old enough to have babysat him,” I added.
The husband chuckled and kissed me on the head. “He’s pretty. Have fun writing.”
Heh. I have the best damn spouse in the world.
I also got a very nice review for “A Boon by Moonlight” from Love Books! Book Reviews, plus I made the reviewer cry a little at the end. She’s the third person who cried while reading “Boon” — I wanted a little drama and tension, yes, but I swear to God making the readers cry wasn’t my intention when I wrote it!