In less than 48 hours, I’ll have a book in the world. Even though I always knew it was inevitable, at the same time I never thought it would ACTUALLY HAPPEN. I’ve been so focused on writing and editing (and rewriting and editing again) that the actual debut felt like an unreachable milestone. But the book is finished. It’s been sent to the formatter. And on July 9, it will be available to the big bad world, whether I’m ready or not (gulp!).
Obviously I hope everyone loves it, gives it five stars on every book website, and tells their 10,000 friends and family members about it, but I’m trying not to think too much about that. Right now — two days before my words are in your hands — I want to think about what an awesome experience it’s been to write my debut novel for the lovers of New Adult romance. You are an unbelievably supportive and vocal crowd, and that’s why NA has done so well in the marketplace, despite what the big publishers thought years ago. Whether you love or hate AN EASY DARE, I appreciate every reader who uploads it to their Kindle, Nook, computer, smartphone, or whatever your bibliophile poison is. Without readers, books are just a manuscript on a computer. So thank you in advance! Tell all your friends! 🙂
My debut novel is now in the hands of a capable editor, getting all polished up and shiny for you. The cover art is done, I’ve been promoting to exhaustion to tickle your ears, and now I breathe. I think and reflect and ponder. There are a lot of things to ponder on. What if the book flops? What if all of you hate it? Were my sex scenes steamy enough, and were there enough steamy sex scenes? What will you think of my heroine, villain and hearthrob? As writers, these are all the things we think about. But mostly I’ve thought about the amazingness of the New Adult/contemporary romance/erotica literary landscape.
Here’s the thing: Self-pubbed, indie-pubbed and small-pubbed authors have been getting a bad rap for a long time. Ditto for writers of NA/erotica/etc. That shift is changing, and for good reason.
But I don’t have to tell you this. You already know what’s happening on the scene. The point is, I didn’t know, until I decided to write and publish my first novel, what was really, truly happening.
So what is really, truly happening, you ask?
- A group of dedicated readers supporting each other after their literary tastes (young heroines, hot heroes, love, drama and romance) were overlooked by the traditional publishing houses.
- A group of dedicated authors who support each other in ways you just don’t see in any other genre. People who don’t even know me immediately offered their support when I announced An Easy Dare. No strings attached. Just a shared love of books and a shared understanding that there’s room for ALL KINDS OF BOOKS across the literary landscape, including mine and yours and all the ones tucked away on your e-reader, ready to be devoured.
I’ll be honest: I don’t usually read Christian fiction. I *do*, however, keep an open mind about anything I read. In my opinion, there are few things I’ll turn away bookwise — if it’s good. That’s my only caveat. What makes a book “good” is different to different people, but when I read the excerpt and the blurb, I thought to myself, ‘This could be good.’
A Legacy of Lies tells the story of level-headed Sarah Sanders and cowboy Jim Anderson. They might be an unlikely pair at first glance, with Sarah being the reasonable sort and Jim being a mysterious ranch hand with a dark past. Even worse, Jim is going insane (or so he thinks). But terrifying visions and strange hallucinations do little to sway him from Sarah, especially when he is put in a position to risk everything for her.
What appealed to me most about the story is Jim’s struggle with his visions, his confusion about what’s happening to him, and how it all relates to dark family secrets that are ultimately revealed. I also enjoyed Sarah’s character and how she approached the strange circumstances that she finds herself in. There’s an adequate balance of chemistry and mystery to make their relationship feel alive on the page.
The parts that feel most alive, though, are when we spend time with Jim as he struggles with his psychosis. Author Stephenia McGee does an excellent job of tapping into our sympathies, curiosities, skepticism and belief systems through sympathetic Jim.
The bottom line: My original thoughts about A Legacy of Lies were accurate. It was a good book and definitely worth a read. And if you’re a fan of Christian romance, then I’d say it’s a must-read.
Stephenia McGee is a wife, mother, writer, author, book reviewer for InD’Tales Magazine and Fiction with Flair Christian Book Reviews, a literary agent’s assistant and artist. She is also the chairman of Spirit Horse Ministries (a youth ministry dedicated to helping foster and underprivileged children). Stephenia has always loved books and her stories can best be described as Christian fiction with flair.
It was cold.
The eerie silence of a moonless, starless night engulfed him.
Jim shivered. It had been high noon only a few minutes ago. Had he fallen asleep? He didn’t remember being tired. He shook his head and tried to focus his groggy mind. He peered around cautiously. Where was his horse?
A rustling sound in the bushes startled him. His eyes darted to investigate.
No, wait. There it was again. Off to the left. His eyes strained, searching for the slightest movement or shape. Something. Anything.
He felt like a kid afraid of the dark.
Get a hold of yourself, man.
Fingers of fear teased along the back of his neck. The hairs stood on end. He shivered. Where was that horse?
“Ciervo!” His voice sounded weak even to his own ears. He tried again. Now he was completely hoarse.
Swallowing, the panic rising from the pit of his stomach, he took a cautious step forward. He heard stirring in the woods behind him. Squirrels? He listened intently. The noise came again. No. Definitely not a squirrel. Something was pacing in the woods. Deliberate. Stalking. Jim’s mouth went dry. Mountain lion.
His heart raced and he looked desperately around, scanning the darkness. Blackness blanketed the meadow. Jim hoped Ciervo hadn’t wandered too far. He started to walk. Slowly. Calculating. He couldn’t tell in what direction he moved.
His cell! He could use it as a light source. Jim’s hand brushed at his hip. It wasn’t there.
He frowned. It always stayed on his belt. He never left the ranch without it.
Jim’s eyes strained, but he could barely make out his surroundings. The farther he walked, the darker it got. His breathing came in quick, rapid intakes. A shrill sound broke the silence. His heart leaped.
Where was he? Was the mountain lion after him?
Hoof beats. Thank goodness.
They were pounding quicker than his rapidly drumming heart. A shadow appeared about thirty feet in front of him.
Hello, all! [Drumroll, please]. I’m VERY excited to share the first trailer for AN EASY DARE, my debut novel set for release this summer. Please check it out, comment, share it, “like” me on Facebook and add the book to your GoodReads list! If you’re a reviewer and/or host a blog and want an ARC, contact me and let me know. Hope you enjoy.
Not seeking it, but writing about it. The psychology of revenge is so interesting to me. Why do people seek it out? Why do people let it consume them? Why do so many people feel the need to “get back” at someone? Most of us do it, even in small ways.
When I set out to write AN EASY DARE, I knew that I wanted revenge to be part of the story line. My main male love interest, Gabe, despises Cort Belrose — not just because he’s married to the woman Gabe loves, but because he believes that Cort represents all that is wrong and unjust about the world. Cort is wealthy without trying, he’s smug about his wealth, and he has a sense of entitlement that comes with old money. Basically, Cort’s an asshole. He’s also a wuss. One flinch from strong and masculine Gabe and Cort withers away like a whimpering dog.
But Gabe could be considered an asshole in his own right. (After all, sometimes a bit of an attitude can be sexy, can it not? — As long as there’s other things to back it up!) Rather than wipe his hands of Cort and focus on how he can keep building his own lot in life, Gabe decides he wants to make Cort’s life a living hell. Stealing Cat would only be icing on the cake, but that’s not his motivation. He loves Cat. He tells her that even if she doesn’t run to him, she should run from Cort–fast–because he’s not the right person for her.
Of course, he does all this soon after her wedding.
Not the best timing.
Meanwhile, Gabe has his own business to sort out. He thinks Cort should pay for all his wrongs, not the least of which is trying to tame the opinionated Cat, which Gabe thinks is his worst crime of all. He has other good reasons as well, which you’ll find out when you read the book. (See how I slipped that self-promotional plug in there? lol)
Gabe isn’t sure if revenge will be sweet, but he does it for his own sense of justice — he believes Cort doesn’t deserve all that he has. For Gabe, it’s a matter of twisted justice.
Still — what is it about human beings that make us want to suck the sweet nectar of revenge?
Something to think about, friends!
Some “light” reading on the psychology of revenge:
The other day I was talking to a struggling writer who’s trying to find an agent. He said, “I need to get my book out there — something needs to be done when books like 50 Shades of Grey are on the bestseller list.” I immediately had a thought, like a knee-jerk reaction. I’m sure you’ve had this thought throughout your own life, especially if you’re an unabashed lover of steamy fiction.
Here was my thought:
Obviously not to any really Good Bad Books, lol.
As my inaugural post to promote my own Big Bad Book, I felt this was a worthy call-out because hopefully you are here because you are hungry for a Big Bad Book of your own (or you want to recommend a book to me, which I totally think you should do here).
Next time someone talks smack about 50 Shades of Grey or any other romance/erotica/ebook/whatever-the-literary-snobs-are-trash-talking-these-days, and they act like they “know” good books and they’re more enlightened than people who ♥ E.L. James, let’s just all say what we’re thinking, which is:
Sometimes sucking can come in handy, but not in this case … *wink*
Stay steamy, my friends!