Being the last day of January, normally I’d post my reading list for the month and give a short commentary about one of the books on the list. Add in a cover, and voila, post done and dusted. Easy peasy, fun, and pretty darned quick. I mean, who doesn’t like talking about a book they loved?
This month, I even made a few notes about a particular book. But yanno what? Reading through them, I find they’re more in the line of what bugged the heck out of me. Or made me snigger (not in an OMG, that was hilarious way, either) and then read aloud certain sections of the book to my DH. As you do. Yanno, just to make sure you’re not simply being overly critical because you had your author/editor hat on, rather than your reader who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about that stuff so long as it’s a damn good story! hat.
So the upshot of it all is, I figure if I didn’t have good things to say about a particular book, I’d rather not mention it at all.
And since I can’t choose between all the other reeeeally awesome books I read this month — oh, except maybe to say that the Burning Up anthology featuring novellas by Nalini Singh, Angela Knight, Virgina Kantra and Meljean Brook was one of THE BEST anthologies I’ve read, and you NEED to read it! — I’m going to do something a little different. Rather than talk about some other author’s book this month, I’m gonna talk about one of mine.
Tomorrow (Feb 1st) is the release day of Scent Of A Man, my second novel-length story.
This story has been a long time time coming. When I started it in 2007, I had a vague idea that I wanted to write a fantasy with a Regency flavor, based around a rather erotic-sounding premise. And after it won a prize for highest scoring first round manuscript, and came second overall in final round judging, as well as 3rd in another contest, I figured that it might be a pretty good story. Only trouble was, it really didn’t know quite what sort of story it wanted to be when it grew up. *g*
It wasn’t till last year, when my Red Sage editor contracted it pretty much based on the first few chapters and a synopsis, that Scent Of A Man started to evolve, and with a huge rewrite, fully realized its erotic-sounding premise. I mean, who was I kidding? The hero is a young nobleman–a virgin, no less–who overnight undergoes a rare transformation and becomes a creature who exudes powerful sexual pheromones that make him irresistible to women. Oh pluhlease. Of course it was destined to be an erotic romance! The only one who wasn’t prepared to admit that was me. Doh.
It was a painful process–one I’m not eager to repeat. Rewriting something you wrote 3 years ago, and completely changing its genre, and having to lose some beloved characters and totally rethink others, while still retaining the basic plot and structure of the original story, is no picnic. I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere before that in hindsight, it would have been easier to scrap the whole manuscript and start all over again! But I’m proud that I stuck with it and didn’t give up, and that finally Joseph and Liliana are having their story unleashed upon the unsuspecting public *VBG*
There’re some people I’d like to thank:
~The paranormal category judges of the 2008 From The Heart Romance Writers Golden Gateway contest, who loved Scent Of A Man, warts and all. And especially Ruth, who emailed me personally to tell me how much she loved the story–as if the score she gave me wasn’t enough *VBG*
~Loretta and Buffalogal and Nay and all the LISTees who read the excerpts I posted on the forum, and who loved Joseph, and encouraged me to keep trying to find a home for this story.
~A huge thanks to Judith, my Red Sage editor, who loved the story’s premise, and believed in me, and gave me the courage to rewrite a story from the ground up and not balk at the cutting and slashing and rewriting, and yes, even insisted that I shouldn’t balk at killing off one of the characters because he sooo needed killing. Judith, you’re the best!
~And finally, a huge thanks to DH and my kids, for putting up with an absentee wife/mother while I deleted and rewrote and rewrote some more. I could not have finished this story without your support.
Dear Joseph and Liliana,
HAPPY RELEASE DAY for tomorrow!
Your story is one I’ll always treasure because it challenged me every step of the way. And I hope readers will love your new and improved story as much as I do.
BTW, here’s your blurb. Hope you like it!
SCENT OF A MAN
The one woman who can resist him is the only woman he’s ever wanted….
Joseph is a highborn Anglian noble living in a harshly religious society where the Council and their clerics enforce chastity, and women are oppressed and treated like chattels. Overnight, Joseph undergoes a rare transformation and becomes a Scentinel, a man who exudes powerful sexual pheromones that make him irresistible to females. His people believe he is evil and will execute him on sight. He’s on the run, starving and desperate. He has nothing more to lose–or so he believes.
Liliana is a “morally corrupt” Europan woman with an agenda. She’s a creature even rarer than Joseph, a Null who can neutralize Scentinel pheromones. Her mission is to do whatever it takes to bring Joseph safely to Europan shores. There, he’ll join Empress Vashti’s elite band of Scentinel spies — provided he survives his training with his sanity intact, and learns how to suppress his pheromones at will.
And falling in love with the man she must ultimately betray was never part of Liliana’s plan.
January Reading List:
- A Fistful Of Charms by Kim Harrison
- Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow
- Hunter’s Prayer by Lilith Saintcrow
- Whisper Of Sin by Nalini Singh**
- Blood and Roses by Angela Knight**
- Shifting Sea by Virginia Kantra**
- Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook**
- Spells by Aprilynne Pike
- Blood Ninja by Nick Lake
- Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
- Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
- For A Few Demons More by Kim Harrison
- Redemption Alley by Lilith Saintcrow
- Master of Fire by Angela Knight
- White Cat by Holly Black
- Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
- Flesh Circus by Lilith Saintcrow
- Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison
- White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison
- Bonkers by Michelle Holman
- Fairyville by Emma Holly
- The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
- Intertwined by Gena Showalter
- Heaven’s Spite by Lilith Saintcrow
- Liar by Justine Larbalestier
- Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
- Fade by Lisa McMann
**From the “Burning Up” anthology