Like when the ‘Zon actually reads your email instead of sending you a boilerplate response and unblocks one of your series so that you can edit it.
Lemme ‘splain. KDP changed things about a month ago so that authors could edit their own series pages, instead of having to ask the KDP customer assistance team do it. Problem was, I misunderstood the email instructions when we were informed of this and tried to create a new Olympic Cove series page. KDP promptly blocked the series and sent me an email that said I would have to ask them to make any future changes.
Fair enough, it was my screw-up. But when I sent them an email last week informing them of the block on the OC series page and asking them to please add Cross Current, I got a response saying, “Oh, you can do all that yourself now — good luck!” I replied with the info that, er, no, I couldn’t, the series page was blocked.
The response? Crickets.
But I am resolute. Yesterday, I sent them a new email, politely reiterating that I needed to have the book added, and attached the original “You screwed up so you need to have us make any changes” email. This morning, I got a reply saying that the series was reviewed and successfully passed, and the updates would soon be available on Amazon. Translation: “Oh, we see. Okay, yeah, we’ll unlock your series.”
In other news, Cross Current is now officially listed on Amazon as book 4 in the Olympic Cove series, which is nice because that’s currently the only place I can put it up for pre-order (Smashwords requires too long of a prep period for me to do it on B&N, Kobo, or iTunes).
So that’s all to the good. Unfortunately, there are some new functionality changes on the otherwise superlative KDP Reports Beta page that removed the ability to see at a glance which titles you’d sold on a particular day (they used to have a bar graph with colors for each title — now the graph is one color and you have to drill down through a calendar function to find out which titles you sold on X day). But I also have Book Report running, so I guess I can keep that running in a tab and check there for daily sales.
As for Cross Current, I’m chugging along and should have the second draft off to the editor and betas by next week, which will give me a week to clean up and do any final tweaks before uploading it to Amazon on Christmas Day (probably before then, but that’s my upload deadline). The plot has changed significantly, but it’s also a LOT more fun (more of a caper romance than an angsty romance) now, so that’s all good.
And then I get to relax between Christmas and January 2nd. Ah, that will be swell…
And it’s selling briskly, so I’m pleased with that. I’m also amused that a writer friend of mine commented on FB, “So how did you get Don Draper to pose for the cover art?” Hey, I would not object to Jon Hamm posing for one of my covers, but I suspect his rates would be expensive as hell.
However, that did remind me of something that I kinda wanted to head off at the pass. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that the model on the cover of King of Blades is the same one I used on the cover of Shifter Woods: Howl. Why would I do something like this, you ask?
Well, because I think he’s hot, whoever he is, and he worked as both my world-weary coyote shifter sheriff and my determined king about to become the father of twins. That’s the beauty of indie publishing — you have full control over the covers. And if I want to use this austere, muscled stunner twice, by God I will.
Speaking of publishing, I just got word a little over an hour ago that Blades was accepted into the Premium catalog at Smashwords, so it should be available at B&N by tomorrow morning and at Kobo and iTunes within a day or so. I’m working on the print version and that should be available by the weekend, and I also need to put it up at Eden Books tomorrow.
While all that’s in play, I’m also back at work on the fourth book in the Olympic Cove series, Cross Current (and isn’t that a lovely cover at right?), with a goal of getting that out on *checks calendar* 11/24/20. I’ll be setting that up for pre-order sometime this weekend, so if you’ve been patiently waiting for the next book in the series, mark your calendars and pre-order it. Here’s the (unedited) blurb:
Fresh from a divorce, high school history teacher Matt Taber retreats to a cottage on Olympic Cove to lick his wounds before school starts up in the fall. But the Fates have other plans for him in the form of a merman running from a deadly family history, three selkies who have to satisfy a royal demand, and a new career as the Oracle of the Waters. Can Matt adjust to his new life before the Mad Nereid comes calling?
And there’s more good Olympic Cove news — I’m completing the series next year. Books Five and Six (tentatively titled Riptide Bay and Hurricane Eye) will be completed right after the first book of 2021, Hidden Empire’s The Crimson and the Black. So for everyone who prefers their series to be completed, you’ll be able to buy the Olympic Cove box set sometime in July. But if you hate the idea of the series ending, don’t worry — there will be additional novellas set on the cove, as well as related books (I have this image in my head of a grumpy and very reluctant Hephaestus being dragged to Earth by Hermes to help him get the Olympic Wi-Fi working, and falling in love with a female blacksmith). So many books to write, so little time…
Hear ye, hear ye, Olympic Cove fans! Deep Water (Olympic Cove Book 3) is now available from Evernight Publishing and Amazon. It should be available at All Romance eBooks and Bookstrand by Wednesday and I’ll post links here as soon as I get them.
Poseidon, God of the Sea, has spent millennia alone due to a single terrible act. His consort Amphitrite has sworn never to forgive him, and he’s forced to live with the knowledge that he drove an innocent girl to her doom.
But when one of the Olympic Cove cottages gets an occupant with an all-too-familiar soul, Poseidon discovers that the Fates have given him a second chance. Now he must try to right the wrongs of the past and win back both his beloved consort and the mate he betrayed.
Assuming, of course, that the Mad Nereid Thetis doesn’t interfere…
But that’s not all! This Friday evening L.D. Blakeley and I are throwing a Sweet Sizzling Reads Release Party at Facebook from 6 to 9 PM Eastern Summer Time to celebrate our respective new releases. There will be much fun and frivolity, plus we’ll be giving way Amazon and Evernight Publishing gift cards, nifty author swag, and custom jewelry throughout the party, so make sure you stop by.
Just spent the last week doing edits for Two to Tango. I may have gotten a little…focused. Yeah, focused. Others may call it line editing, but whatever. Then again, the MS is almost 70K and has some serious subplots in addition to the smut, so making sure everything was clean as possible was important (and I caught a number of bloopers, so yeah, line editing for the win).
But it’s done, and turned back into Evernight, and now I can get back to work on Breaker Zone because that sucker is going to be done by Sunday if it kills me, kills me, kills me. I want to get started on Book Three, dammit!
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Ian West had his summer all planned out — go down to Florida, stay in his family’s beach cottage on Olympic Cove, and work on his science fiction novel. But his plans get thrown for a loop when gorgeous twin sea gods Bythos and Aphros show up in the cove and inform him he’s their fated consort. As if that wasn’t enough, something in the Gulf of Mexico is turning mermaids into legendary monsters and gods into demons. Now, Ian not only has to navigate the complicated waters of a ménage relationship with twin sea gods, he also has to stop an insane deity and save the whole damn planet. No pressure.
He grabbed the shampoo he’d bought the day before and squirted a dollop into his hair, closing his eyes as he worked it through. Memories of that first night, and his fantasy of having Bythos and Aphros in the shower with him, crossed his mind. His cock stirred at the thought.
Before he could grab the conditioner and work himself up to a halfhearted jackoff session, a baritone voice said, “You are damnably difficult to resist, beloved.”
Ian gasped in shock, sucking in droplets of shampoo foam. Frantically coughing and spitting, he stuck his face directly in the spray and scrubbed the soap away from his eyes.
And opened them on the beautiful sight of Bythos and Aphros standing in front of the enclosure, naked and waiting for him. He wiped wet hair back from his face, fighting the urge to jump out and into their arms. “You came back,” he said stupidly.
Bythos gave him a wry smile. “Yes, well, I hate to hear a grown man grovel.”
Aphros elbowed him, and the grey-eyed demigod winced. “And brother dearest here rightly pointed out that we should have explained everything more fully to you last night, before we took you to bed.”
Aphros nodded. “Love, we’re not trying to push you into anything, we swear,” he said, his face open and beseeching. “You’re absolutely right—we don’t really know you any more than you know us. And finding out about the agapetos marks was understandably a shock. It’s just the way these things work for our kind. And we’ve known about you a lot longer than you’ve known about us, so we might have gotten a little ahead of ourselves.”
“Might have?” Bythos murmured.
Aphros glared at his brother, then turned back to Ian. “But we want to get to know you, if you’ll let us. Please, love, let us.”
Ian stood there for a fraction of a second, before pulling back the glass door of the enclosure. “Get in here.”
The demigods didn’t hesitate. Suddenly he was surrounded by slick male flesh, hands touching and caressing him everywhere. Ian moaned in delight under the onslaught, and again when Bythos dropped to his knees and swallowed his half-hard cock in one gulp. The sudden shock of wet heat and a mobile velvet tongue made his knees wobble, and Aphros had to grab him around the waist and hold him securely while Bythos let his cock slide free, ducking lower and laving each ball before mouthing them.
Aphros slid long fingers under Ian’s chin, tilting his head around until their lips met. Ian lost himself in the demigod’s kiss, flickering tongue moving slick and hot against his.
Bythos turned his attention back to Ian’s cock, working what felt like magic on it. Ian came with a shout swallowed by Aphros. Bythos also swallowed, then pulled off and licked him clean. He got to his feet with a satisfied smile. “You’re delicious, beloved.”
With a groan, Ian dragged the grey-eyed demigod into his arms, kissing him and tasting his own pleasure mixed with Bythos’s unique flavor, a bittersweet combination that was irresistible. “Don’t you ever leave me again like that, you hear me?”
“We won’t, we promise,” Bythos said quietly, cupping his face. “We love you.”
Ian stopped resisting the pull he’d felt from the first moment he’d seen them in the ocean. “I love you, both of you,” he said hoarsely, feeling it resonate in his soul. “I don’t know why, but I do.”
Aphros pressed close behind, his rigid cock rubbing along the groove of Ian’s ass. “Because you belong to us,” he said. “And we belong to you, love.”
Ian let himself be pushed harder against Bythos’s chest. Aphros’s fingers slid along the cheeks of his ass, caressing the muscled curves before sliding deeper into the crease between them. He teased the tight opening for a moment, a fingertip circling the puckered muscle, before gently pressing in.
Ian panted at the sweet—and undeniably slick—penetration. “Where the hell did you get lube?” he said.
Aphros chuckled in his ear. “I conjured it down from the bedroom. Demigod, remember?” His finger slid deeper and curved in, rubbing that one delicious spot, and Ian moaned happily.
Bythos leaned down and claimed his mouth again, kissing him with a hungry ferocity. “I love you,” he muttered in between hot, wet kisses. “Oh, Gaia, I love you so much.”
“I love you, too.” Ian hung onto the demigod’s shoulders as one finger turned to two, huffing under his breath at the pain-pleasure of the stretching. Then three, until finally he felt them pull out and the thick head of Aphros’s cock pushing into him. The thick shaft filled him slowly, inch by inch, until Aphros abruptly stopped.
“No, that’s no good,” he said. “Angle’s wrong. By, some help?”
“How’s this?” Strong hands slid around Ian’s thighs, spreading them open. Suddenly he was lifted up and held against Bythos, his own hardening cock rubbing against the grey-eyed demigod’s rigid shaft. He wrapped his arms around Bythos’s neck and clung closer.
“Oh, yes, that’s much better,” Aphros said, moving faster now. Ian savored the depth the demigod achieved with each thrust, pushing him more firmly against Bythos. The rhythmic pressure kept their cocks rubbing deliciously past each other in the hot, tight space between their bodies.
The thrumming in Ian’s groin took on a rising note. “Oh, fuck yes. Harder, Aph, please.”
Aphros obeyed. His thrusts turned savage, shoving Ian hard against Bythos with each pistoning move. Lost in pleasure, Ian nuzzled Bythos’s shoulder, then bit down.
The demigod yelped, but his hips jerked as he came in a warm spurt between their bodies. That triggered Ian’s orgasm, and he threw his head back onto Aphros’s shoulder, coming hard and keening.
“Yes!” Aphros shouted. With another thrust, he exploded inside Ian.
For an endless moment the three of them leaned against one another under the now-cooling water, panting and trembling from the aftershocks. Finally, Ian got enough breath back to laugh softly.
“Well,” he said, brushing his lips across the love bite on Bythos’s shoulder, “at least this is going to make cleanup easy.”
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Sixteen chapters down, two to go, and then I write the query letter and send it off. And it has been a most educational experience, editing a novel. I’ve finished novels before, mind you, but this is the first time I’ve ever managed to get through editing one and whipping it into submission shape. I may have to pull out those two finished novels and put them through the same process, once blood has returned to my butt and my fingers stop screaming at me.
Things what I learned whilst editing my novel:
- After realizing that I’d unconsciously followed the three act format, I learned that somehow much of Act Two wound up in Act Three and had to be transplanted. I then had to rewrite a good 40% of Act Three because what was left was so patchy as to be almost unusable. That being said, my Act Two freaking well rocks — no slow middle third of the novel here, nosiree.
- If I have a magical tattoo show up on my MCs in Act One, I kinda have to make it do something useful by Act Three.
- Not many M/M/M erotic romances also contain references to Greek gods, genetic engineering, nanotech, and Alan Turing. Go me!
- One person commented on my short story “Tied With a Bow” that the menage relationship came together too easily and cleanly. That does not happen here by a long shot, hoo boy. If I can put my boys through the wringer, I do. I’m surprised they don’t hate me by now.
- If I sit for too long, my middle back muscles knot up like a bitch. There’s a reason why I own a treadmill, and I really need to use it more often.
- I need to find better ways to pull my brain out of fifth gear so that I can get to sleep at night instead of staring at the ceiling thinking, “Wait, did I remember to add that backstory? Is that going to work or is it an infodump? Maybe if I just use more character motivation…”
Soon, my precious. Soooooon…