UPDATE: We're selling Gold Digger at $1 off to say "thank you" to all the Special Forces supporters over the years. Thanks, guys!
25 August: Came back from editor with a comment that the ending was rushed and not very satisfactionary.
(Weekend: Spent editing 40k and writing a new ending of 5k. Also fixed embarrassing research mistakes. I'm an ex-finance journo, I should know better. Also spend a delightful hour playing "hostile corporate takeover" with my partner. No, it didn't happen in the bedroom.
28 August 2012: This is now out to betas who know stuff about Canada. Expecting to see new version from editor today.)
29 August 2012: Canadian betas have come back with good stuff to be included/edited/fixed. Also, we have a blurb and a website.
30 August 2012: Edits back on my desk. Minor tweaks and incorporating Canadian feedback now. (later) Edits back to second editor. It's taking shape.
1 September 2012: Editor feedback on the first 75% in a nutshell: "They fuck like rabbits, so this is way hotter than you said, also, the sex is really hot. Both guys are intensely likeable, but the emotional arch needs tweaking." - I'd call that a RAGING RAINBOW CONFETTI-EXPLODING success. Whew.
3 September 2012: Two more editing passes over the weekend, fine-tuning some motivation and pacing, but nothing major. Back to editor early in the morning. It's a wrap. Now off to get proofed and laid-out. Also, we're selling it cheaper than the length suggests to say "thank you" to SF readers/supporters.
7 September 2012: Back from proofing
8 September 2012: Off to be laid out.
Random Other Note: This is a sweet and light contemporary. Yes it is, hand on heart. Though it does feature Vadim. ...more
Okay, I started this a while ago - I had to read a couple other things first, and I was planning to read this when the worst stress of the year wouldOkay, I started this a while ago - I had to read a couple other things first, and I was planning to read this when the worst stress of the year would be over. Boy, am I glad I did (wait). I'm not sure this book would have fitted into a busy life. It's too long to be read during a stolen afternoon, and too engrossing to want to rush it or share headspace while the rest of your life's too busy to enjoy it.
This is to say, this is one of those fantasy reads that I've been missing like all hell: Good writing. Haimowitz has a hugely readable style that sucks you in and doesn't let you go. As a novelist, she doesn't cut corners. She handles action/battle scenes just as well as character exploration and sex. While the romance is a large part of the story, I'd be hard-pressed to call this book a romance, because it's much larger than that. Ultimately, it's about how two people come to trust each other and overcome a lot - a lot - of bad blood, while the rest of the world has very clear roles for both of them (or at least the human side does - the elves seem somewhat more laisser-faire).
There's politics, and beautifully written magic (I say that as somebody who prefers no magic, no elves, and certainly no glowing elves), and an exploration of culture. You have noble, self-sacrificing Freyrik, and super-snarky, hard-headed, easily-bored Ayden, and their dialogue often resembles a fencing bout.
The power dynamics are hugely entertaining as well. Both struggle - against themselves, each other, and ultimately, for their love. This is well-realised, well-crafted fantasy at its best. It's about human nature, believable, emotionally authentic. (I want to shout "THIS is how you do it, idjit!" to all those fantasy writers churning out 900 page bricks where nothing interesting happens.)
The twist at the end provides a great set-up for the second book, and I'm looking forward to that one. The editing is almost impeccable (I found one missing period), the cover works very well for the novel, too. If that's the level of quality that Guiltless Pleasure, the publisher, puts out consistently, I expect great things from them as well.
I didn't finish "Wheel of Time". In fact, I flung the second book as far as it would go, and remember it with revulsion. "Counterpoint" made me acquire everything Haimowitz has written so far, and I'll be getting a paper copy of the book. There's a keeper. And they are rare....more
Just a PSA - this is not a traditional romance, m/m or other. I'd describe it as part coming-of-age, part financial thriller (yes, quite a few scenesJust a PSA - this is not a traditional romance, m/m or other. I'd describe it as part coming-of-age, part financial thriller (yes, quite a few scenes involving the office, deals, finance talk, etc), and love story. The love story is not the main thing going on, and the main character spends quite a bit of time/quite a few nights with other people.
I love the whole series and buying them in paper as they come out, because I believe in supporting the writer and no writer mAll time favourite shelf.
I love the whole series and buying them in paper as they come out, because I believe in supporting the writer and no writer makes money from a free ebook. These are some of the best m/m stories I've read, and Casperian did a great job sourcing that talent and putting out the books. ...more
A 13k short story that is fairly "different" to what I've been doing recently, but leads right into my next novel (there's a hint of my next novel inA 13k short story that is fairly "different" to what I've been doing recently, but leads right into my next novel (there's a hint of my next novel in there for people who'll read both. :) ). Huge amount of research, very nervous, because it was so difficult and so demanding. ...more
A solid 4.5 stars that contains some absolutely haunting violence (including a rape). But it's not just the sex and the tautly controlled sexual tensiA solid 4.5 stars that contains some absolutely haunting violence (including a rape). But it's not just the sex and the tautly controlled sexual tension - Haimowitz creates a world that's not all that different from ours. While people can be slaves and our protagonist is owned by his news channel (he's the anchor man), it's also a world where people read "Wall Street Journal" and "The Economist". This resonates for everybody who's ever been treated by a corporation like their property (so probably most of us corporate drones).
The writing is superb, the characters believable. While I wish the main character had a pair and fought back, I can see the reason why he grew up that way and how he's incapable of fighting back. It shows what a great writer Haimowitz is that she can pull me right into a character I'd normally not enjoy. This, BTW, is my first book by her, but I've already started on "Counterpoint", which so far looks like 5 stars.
The basic premise, that of a modern world where slavery is not only accepted but never questioned, and that everything is done for a profit, is fascinating and very well executed. The protagonist and his master are only at the beginning of their journey, however. While the book is self-contained and ends on a significant milestone of their relationship, there are many ways Haimowitz can still mess with her characters. Let's hope she will.
----------------------------------------- My partner described this story as "Disabled German-Named Space Maori in a Haunted House IN SPAAAACE with Polymorphing Monster". Yes, I thwapped him for it.
This was written after November 2011, after "Dark Soul" and started life as "Scorpions in Space!" (harkening back to my fantasy novel "Scorpion") and is in part triggered by Reese Dante's concept art for Scorpion, and part is just the whole concept of "Scorpion" messing with my head (hence the name of the ship).
Further influences were the idea to write a disabled hero for Jody (I hope I did a decent job, thwap me if I didn't!), a discussion on what constitutes a "real man" (thank you, JW!), because the jump to "real human" wasn't far - yes, this is how my brain works. And two movies are in there somewhere, too, namely District 9 and the latest Terminator movie. Pour in, stir, serve.
Kyle is a scarred, broken hero like I love them, though Grimm has my heart.
This also has the loosest connection to Dark Edge of Honor - it's set in the Commonwealth, which has some issues with the Doctrine on one end and the Glyrinny shapeshifters on the other end. I can totally see writing more in that 'verse. For the record, the connection is so tenuous that it's really just a nod in that direction, so reading Dark Edge of Honor is not necessary to get this story....more
Contains the re-vamped, re-edited, improved "Deliverance" that I recently freed from the clutches of the now defunct Noble Romance. It's about WilliamContains the re-vamped, re-edited, improved "Deliverance" that I recently freed from the clutches of the now defunct Noble Romance. It's about William Raven, a templar, who thought he'd escaped his past. (Same character as in The Lion of Kent.)
ETA: Just finished the three stories I hadn't read. ...more
This is planned as one of three stories dealing with William Raven (a character I introduced in "Deliverance"). When I wrote "Deliverance", I didn't kThis is planned as one of three stories dealing with William Raven (a character I introduced in "Deliverance"). When I wrote "Deliverance", I didn't know that there were so many more stories in there, but that's how the muse works.
"Lion of Kent" covers the youth and first love of William. Part 2, which I'm currently outlining, will deal with his other love, Guy de Metz. And hopefully I'll manage to "bring the herd home" (aka, wrap things up) in a third part.
So, while "Deliverance" and "Lion of Kent" are independent stories - you don't need read both to enjoy them individually - they are also connected. ...more
Some of it is "Not My Kink" (NMK), but Rachel and Cat still pull it off admirably. Crisp writing, great psychological insight, hot sex, and pretty extSome of it is "Not My Kink" (NMK), but Rachel and Cat still pull it off admirably. Crisp writing, great psychological insight, hot sex, and pretty extreme BDSM. ...more
This is the improved "Director's Cut" version. I fixed about a million typos, factual mistakes, clunky point-of-views shifts, mistakes in word choiceThis is the improved "Director's Cut" version. I fixed about a million typos, factual mistakes, clunky point-of-views shifts, mistakes in word choice and pacing issues that were overlooked in the original edit. To edit well, I need to get distance from the text, which can take a year or even two. This is the version that represents my vision of the text.
In terms of changes, the text ends a little earlier than the original "Soldiers", so it can stand on its own. The final battle in the hotel has been moved to the start of "Mercenaries", but no other big changes have been made. ...more
I'm shocked to learn that Ambroses taught history. The military history/analysis is pretty poor to appalling. He's good when he talks about Easy CompaI'm shocked to learn that Ambroses taught history. The military history/analysis is pretty poor to appalling. He's good when he talks about Easy Company and relates stories. (Though he states that the book is "very much a group effort" with the men from E Company, so how much of that credit goes to them is anybody's guess, and some events were anonymised and possibly left out to protect people.)
Whenever he attempts military analysis of the actual way/battles, his thoughtless "MURRIKA!" propaganda grates like hell. His core thesis appears to be that "democratic soldiers" (what he terms "citizen soldiers") necessarily outfight those under fascist/totalitarian systems - which obviously flies in the face of the fact that it was the Red Army that broke Nazi Germany's back - not exactly a democratic system to be found anywhere. Not a hint of irony or awareness in his thesis. I guess it would wrinkle his propaganda too much.
What I found interesting was the amount of looting and casual violence in Germany, which gels with other sources I've read. What I found even more interesting is how Ambrose condemns Germany's mistreatment of people, but totally excuses similar behaviour from his subjects (looting for fun and profit, shooting of unarmed, surrendered POWs). Not a hint of applying the same critical measurement to all sides.
Ambrose nicely feathers his wooden, lacklustre account with liberal quotes from a number of decent to good military historians who are far more insightful than he is (such as Keegan).
Overall, the show does a great job putting all this on the screen, so you can skip the book. What the show left out it usually left out for good reasons. I read this book for any gems that were left by the wayside, but it's not worth it, in my opinion.
The has another big flaw that rankles me especially. All the German is wrong/misspelled. If you can't be bothered to get it right, just leave it out. Parading around badly-spelled, agrammatical German is doing nobody any favours.
Good book, I quite enjoyed it. I liked Joe, and I liked the build-up before they finally get to have sex. I start to get bored with pants dropping onGood book, I quite enjoyed it. I liked Joe, and I liked the build-up before they finally get to have sex. I start to get bored with pants dropping on page 1-5 (in a novel. Short stories might be different). The crime part didn't really work all that well for me, though, so I read it very much as a "love story with a crime plot attached" rather than a crime/thriller novel. At times, Buchanan lost me when they explained all the climbing stuff (probably painstakingly researched, but as a non-native speaker of English, I really didn't get all the technical explanation. ...more
This is a very sweet (also steamy) contemporary story about, of course, a "first time". It's also the debut of this author.
What struck me about thisThis is a very sweet (also steamy) contemporary story about, of course, a "first time". It's also the debut of this author.
What struck me about this story was the quality of "flow". The story is alive, fully immersive, the kind of writing that goes much deeper than other authors that go through the motions of romance. There's real feeling in here, which is a pretty rare quality in all writing.
There's something in there - that spark or living quality - that promises a lot for future works of this author, and I am looking forward to further, and longer works.