Category: Recoil

Blog Tour, Days 1 & 2

Published / by R. Phoenix / Leave a Comment

Here are my first four blog tour spots! I really tried to vary these and break them up, so I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

7/1: Joyfully Jay: wherein I write about my love for villains + exclusive excerpt

7/2: The Dark Arts Blog: Spotlight post

7/3: Lily G. Blunt’s Blog: Author Interview with some very interesting questions (and hopefully interesting answers) + exclusive excerpts… including a brief one from my contemporary WIP.

7/4: Attention is Arbitrary: nerd words, or why I name my books what I do + exclusive excerpt

Promo Spots

Published / by R. Phoenix / Leave a Comment
Okay, so! Rambling post about promo … things. Keep in mind I’m brand new at all this, so it might be good, and it might not. 
The short version: a) Authors: there’s a sale and here are two sites for paranormal-related books. b) Readers: there are two sites that offer 2 free reads EACH a day. THESE ARE NOT M/M SPECIFIC.
 
I Love Vampire Novels is having a sale for Mother’s Day on ad spots, so I went and checked it out… They have this newish affiliated site (I think), Reign of Reads, and their newsletter spots were only $10 (Free Read) and $15 (Featured Read). ILVN’s spots are $14 off if you go through their newsletter links.
 
So I whipped out my handy-dandy credit card (*cough*) and requested slots for Bought (Free) and Ravel (Featured/Regular Price of 2.99). Figured hell, I’ll try closer upcoming dates just to see what happens. If they don’t have ’em, they don’t have ’em. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
 
Submitted RoR requests at 9:18 and 9:24, requesting spots for Bought and Ravel for the weeks of 5/9 (Bought) and 5/23 (Ravel).
 
Received a response at 9:48, confirming bookings on 5/11 and 5/23. Really freaking fast. I’m crossing my fingers and toes; they say they distribute to over 16k readers. (2 Free/2 Featured in each newsletter.)
 
…Oh, and while I was at it, I also bought a discounted Featured Ad spot for ILVN for Recoil, which my credit card also provided the funds for. They distribute to… a lot of people. A LOT. (2 Free/6 Featured in each newsletter.) Yeah. I have so much restraint.
 
I opted not to discount either Ravel or Recoil for the simple reason that I do giveaways all. the. time. I can’t even tell you how many copies of them I’ve given away. (Plus I feel guilty when people buy things at full price and then I offer them for next to nothing later, because it’s frustrating as a reader sometimes. I bought a book for like $6 a while back to support an author and it was maybe a few hours later or the next day, and it was on sale for 99c. On my limited budget, that stung a little.) So it might hurt, but it might not. We’ll see. They recommend a price point between 99c-2.99 anyway.
 
If any authors take advantage of these deals, might want to split the payments up so you get the redirect pages. I didn’t get one for ILVN. I sent them an e-mail, though, so we’ll see.

Queercentric Review of Recoil

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5 of 5 Stars from Queercentric on Recoil!

Recoil: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story by R. Phoenix straddles a middle line between the feel of the first book and the feel of the second.

It’s got a slightly sinister vibe that carries through the whole story.

A SLIGHTLY SINISTER VIBE

Noah is a human, part of the Rebellion, who was captured. He spent a week being tortured, with his captors hoping to eventually auction off as a compliant slave. They just have to break him first. When a werewolf specializing in breaking slaves has no luck with Noah, he offers a vampire a deal to do it instead.

Vampire Khaz, a whore in this new world of the status quo, takes the offer and thinks it should be a piece of cake. Man, was he wrong. Nothing turned out the way Khaz thought it would. Struck by the beauty of the human slave, he slowly chips away at Noah’s defenses and learns more about his captive.

TRAINED IN RESISTING THE MOST GROTESQUE FORMS OF TORTURE

Noah is trained in resisting the most grotesque forms of torture, but his training didn’t cover how to resist sympathy from a supernatural. Noah spends most of his time ignoring Khaz while healing, but somehow Khaz sneaks in and lowers his defenses anyway.

THEIR CHEMISTRY WAS UNDENIABLE AND EXTREMELY PALPABLE

Noah was actually pretty annoying. He was fickle when it came to Khaz. Their chemistry was undeniable and extremely palpable in the story and the ending just about freaking killed me!

Really R. Phoenix?

A TOUCH OF SINISTER UNKNOWNS SWIRLING AROUND THE BACKGROUND

Though more of a grey area in the RISQ series, this book was full of sexual tension, secrets held by both of the MCs,  and a touch of sinister unknowns swirling around the background.

This series is incredibly addicting because there is no warning as to what is coming next. Will it be another semi-sweet romantic build? Or will it be mind games and manipulations likeBought was?

I cannot give this enough stars! I’m already twitching, waiting for the release of the next book. I’m mildly worried about what it will contain, but want it anyway.

I highly recommend this series to those who have grown disenchanted by fluffy M/M romances. There is none of that in these pages.

Author: R. Phoenix
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 96 pages
Release Date: April 8, 2016

Reviewed by Brandyjo Newton

All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/1MQP0AF
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qyfhtL
(*cough* You leave my Noah alone.)

Guest Post on Kimi-Chan Experience

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“The RISQ works center around characters who put themselves on the line and against the status quo. “Love is a weakness,” a character remarks in the first book. “Everyone claims they’d do anything for it. Let’s test the theory, shall we?” And that’s really what the books are about at their core. What would you do for love? Would you risk everything? What horrible things would you put yourself through to have even the chance for love in this sort of fucked-up world?”

Read more at the Kimi-Chan Experience!

Diverse Reader Interview

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The fabulous Meredith King has featured me on her blog for an Author Spotlight. She asked some great questions, and I got to ramble about Brandyjo and how much help she’s been to me. If you want to see the answers to these questions (as well as some of my random thoughts)…

  • You classify yourself as an M/M paranormal romance/ erotica reader but you’re also a writer of what you read as well! What intrigues you so much about erotica?
  • When did you know erotica/romance was where you wanted to take your writing?
  • You’ve written 4 books in your Ripples in the Status Quo series. You’ve worked your ass off with them between writing, editing, all of it. Tell us about this series and what we can look forward to?
  • You’ve been posting pictures on Facebook of sweet little critters, and they are so cute!!! This is a side of a dark erotica writer I wasn’t expecting…lol… Tell us a little bit about Raissa from the light side?
  • You write in a genre that is filled with a lot of adversity. How do you combat it? What message would you get out to the masses if you could?
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research, where would you go?
  • What is your favorite childhood book or books?
  • What were you like as a child?
  • Can you tell us what you are currently working on?
  • How can readers follow you? Twitter, Facebook, website…

So yeah! If you’re interested (or if you just want a shot at a free book), check it out here: Diverse Reader Saturday Author Spotlight.

Writing RISQ Stories

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I’ve been asked a few times lately how I write short books. (Which, hell, if you’ve read any of my rambles, it’s no shock that you’d wonder how I can manage to write anything under 200k epics.) So I thought I’d give explaining it a shot, even though this might be a bunch of incoherent rambling.

Okay, so, I write a series dramatically called “Ripples in the Status Quo” (or for those of us who are lazy, RISQ). In this world, supernatural creatures have taken over and turned humans into playthings and food and, well, whatever else they want that day. Humans have no rights unless they’re owned by a “supe.” And then they don’t really have any rights, but they’re protected like my car or your inflatable sex doll might be. Anyone who shows free humans too much favor runs the risk of being considered a sympathizer.

And this is very, very bad. Sympathizers run the risk of being deemed “legally human.” If that happens, they’re enslaved or executed. There’s no mercy, and it’s extremely brutal. Ten years after the Takeover, no one really speaks out against it any longer. But that doesn’t mean they’re all okay with it. They deal with it in their own ways, and it affects them in profound ways… which is what gives me my story.

Each “story” (novelette, novella, whatever) addresses what happens when characters end up faced with the SQ. The best way I can think of to explain it is that I write how the plot defines the characters rather than how the characters define the plot 75% of the time. It sounds boring when I put it that way, but it is what it is. I’m planning to write several books, so I’m in no hurry to get through the main plotline. I have four completed so far, and they’ve more or less introduced the world and some of the characters. (And though it isn’t obvious in the books, they each take place about a week apart.)

The first “major” plot point comes in during book four. Up until that point, we’re just learning the characters and the world, which means we’re seeing snippets of their lives. Each story is a character arc, though they become increasingly tangled with one another as things begin to shift.

I’m rambling, and I still haven’t gotten to the point. My process goes like this:

I get an idea. This is a spark of a character–a line from the story, a scene I want to write, a quote, or something. I start writing. Sometimes it’s the beginning, and sometimes it isn’t. I write until I run out of steam, and then if I get another idea, I don’t worry about “finishing” a scene. I mark that it isn’t done, and I carry on.

So I pretty much end up with a beginning, a middle, and an end. From there, I have to go back and flesh it all out. It’s sort of like having a jigsaw puzzle where you put together the outside first and then go back and do the center pieces. I know where the confines of my story is. I just need to go in and actually fill out what’s within the frame. From there, I write until I feel like I’ve satisfied the plot.

When I feel like I have all the pieces in place, I go back and re-read. I try to find any contradictions or repetitions, I smooth out edges, and I add details where I feel details need to be. I turn it over to my beta readers and let them rip it into shreds, and then I put it back together again.

Basically, in the whole thing, length is irrelevant. I want to tell the story of two characters and how their lives interact, usually through alternating POVs though that’s changing a little the more I write. But the focus is on their story, and the plot just happens to come along for the ride.

I have no idea if I’ve managed to explain it, but let’s see:

Bought (12,600 words) is a novelette that explores what happens when a werewolf is deemed legally human and is purchased by a witch. It introduces the world, and it follows Jace from when he’s purchased by Elias until the end of their first, ah, encounter. It’s about his journey; the plot is what he and Elias are doing and why, and it’s setting up for later books.

Ravel (23,600 words) is a novella that forces two characters to see what the world is like for each other. On one hand, you have a human thief who’s struggling to survive and resents the supes who won’t speak up for them, who really wants more but knows there isn’t much of a chance for that. On the other, you have a werewolf who’s hiding away from the world and refusing to see what’s in front of him. When those two things intersect, that’s where my story comes in. It ends where there’s a pause of, well, here we are. We’ve got a good start, and now… what do we do? That’s material for later on. It has a nod towards the characters in Bought, but it’s a stand alone.

Recoil (28,300 words) is a novella that brings in a vampire who isn’t all that thrilled with the SQ and a human who’s involved with the Rebellion trying to take it down. Khaz is still annoyed that the SQ made his life more difficult, and Noah has been raised to hate supernaturals with a passion. Khaz only has a certain amount of time to break Noah so he can be sold off as a slave, so you’re automatically given boundaries in terms of timeline. It does have a nod toward the characters in Ravel, but it’s a stand alone.

Owned (37kish words, still in final edits) is a novella that starts to bring the smaller pictures together. We get characters from Bought and Recoil, and there are spoilers, but this is the first book where the overall plot actually slams into the characters. It’s still technically a standalone, and I did have someone read it who hadn’t read Bought and they were still fine with it. It benefits from having read the others.

Book 5, Go, is in progress. It’s bringing in new characters, but it’s going to draw back in Reese and Ashton from Ravel as well as other characters from the earlier works where their lives intersect.

You might ask why I don’t just put them all together in one larger work, and the simplest answer is because I don’t want to. I know, it sounds childish, but it’s true. Beyond that, though, it’s about organization and style. I like that each story is the focus of a week, even if it isn’t really clear unless you know that outside of the story; I can fade in and out and tell the interesting bits without having to focus on the parts I don’t want to write–and I think that might be where some of the extra words come in. We feel the need to tell things all at once, and I don’t really like doing that.

I’ve had some criticism because I very, very slowly dangle pieces of information in front of people like fresh lettuce in front of a leaping duck (seriously, you’ll lose fingers that way). I’ve had beta readers who want me to explain things right at the beginning, but I leave things for later.

All in all, I have no idea if I’ve answered any questions. *sheepish*

Tl;dr:

I write a frame to contain myself within and fill in the frame.

I have a larger world, and I let that world define the characters most of the time.

I let things happen really slowly, because I like writing about the people.

I’m not plot-centric, and I don’t want things to happen too swiftly.

I only write what I want to. >.>

I’m not sure how I’d bring in the first four sets of stories. They are actually stand alone works, and I want the plot to develop around them rather than limiting myself. (i.e., if I write all of Jace and Elias’s story, then I have less wiggle room with how they might interact with other characters)

It’s basically a contained way of switching POVs, because the whole time, we’re getting the world from these characters’ eyes. Who’s to say that’s really how it is?

Okay, I’ve rambled enough. 🙁

Recoil Release!

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It’s release day for Recoil: A RISQ Story (M/M Paranormal), and I’m in the mood to give something away. Since I gave my soul up years ago and I’m still fond of my firstborn, it’ll have to be one of my books. Here’s what you have to do: share my release day post on your page (FB), and get entered into a drawing. If you win*, you can choose between Ravel and Recoil…or you can get an early copy of Owned with no obligation to review (expected release date between 4/15-4/29). Easy enough, right? Please make sure to tag me or send me a PM with a link. <3

Now Available! Recoil: A RISQ Story (M/M Paranormal)

In a world flipped upside down where the supernatural now rule over humans, a financially struggling vampire must face the ultimate attack on his humanity: breaking a mortal to slavery. Groomed to fight, the human is no easy picking, but Khaz has an ace in the hand in the form of an alluring magic many find impossible to resist…

recoilrelease1

In case the graphic  hasn’t stunned you enough with its prettiness, check out the book trailer: Recoil Promo created by Brandyjo Newton!

Buy Links:

All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/1MQP0AF

Amazon: http://amzn.to/22aqgVu

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qyfhtL

iBooks: http://apple.co/1VBxjGN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1S91qQe

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1WgxXdk

*Drawing will be held at noon CST on 4/9. Winner will be notified by PM and announced on my page. Details on my books can be found: http://rphoenix.theupsideis.com/index.php/books/.

Update

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I realized this morning that I’ve severely neglected my blog except to post about other people’s work. I have a lot going on for my books, but I haven’t been writing about it! So I want to actually get back TO writing because I’ve spent the last month doing nothing but edits and smoothing out my first three, but I also wanted to share a few things with you.

BOUGHT was re-released on 3/22, and it’s doing pretty well! I’ve had a lot of downloads, and the reviews have been good–for that, I thank you! Look at the nifty things Brandyjo Newton has been doing for me! I’ll share more later, but now it’s time to write before I have to adult.

Pssst. Recoil’s coming out Friday! I can’t wait to show you the changes. 😀

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