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Old 12-11-2010, 04:25 PM
choie is offline
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My mystery/romance novels: written w/help from Dopers!


Hey all. I've mentioned these elsewhere on the boards but now I get to hype my stuff openly. And just in time for the holidays: if you order by December 21 you can get the books by Christmas.

I'd like to introduce Fierce Moon and Night Wolf, two romantic suspense novels (one for adults, the other for teens/YA readers) that'll be perfect for anyone loves mysteries and/or paranormal romances... because in these personalized novels, you can customize the lead characters.

And there's a SDMB connection too, 'cause while I was working on these novels -- I started out as editor but ended up doing a full, from-the-ground-up rewrite in just two weeks -- I sought assistance from the good folks right here! Dopers helped me find a specific London setting, refine some technological details, and even properly credit some song lyrics (not linking that thread 'cause it was ulcer-inducing enough the first time around!). So I consider this a kind of family endeavor.

What are they about?

Quick version: Fierce Moon (and Night Wolf, the teen adaptation of the same tale) begins when a mystery reader discovers an antique book that holds a spell...and possibly a curse. When the book sweeps her 120 years into the past, she's caught up in the investigation of a vicious killer roaming the Victorian London streets... and she's also captivated by a genius consulting detective who's hiding a deadly secret of his own. (Are the mysteries connected? Gee, what do you think?)

More detailed plot spoilers below the graphic.


Fierce Moon: Watch the trailer | Try a free demo | Order now ($39.95 paperback, $59.95 hardcover)
Night Wolf: Watch the trailer | Try a free demo | Order now ($24.95 paperback, $44.95 hardcover)

Special discount: "Like" the publisher's Facebook page to grab a 10% discount code.

My own mini-site devoted to the books, plus some gift ideas.

More detailed plot spoilers:

SPOILER:
Our heroine leads a pleasant but predictable life, finding excitement in the pages of her favorite thrillers. When a friendly stranger lends her a rare 19th century book about a series of true unsolved crimes, our heroine can't wait to dive in to this immersive tale...especially when she spies an illustration of a captivating man with a mysteriously haunting gaze.

But when she starts reading, she's immediately swept back in time to 1892 England, landing in the midst of a sadistic criminal's reign of terror! At night, the streets of London belong to an elusive killer who's targeting newcomers to the city. The locals call him 'The Beast'—and our modern librarian might be the next victim.

Suspecting a Jack the Ripper copycat, our heroine struggles to fit in as a Victorian while seeking answers to the crimes. She soon clashes with one of the investigators on the case: a brilliant, sophisticated and somewhat arrogant consulting detective a la Sherlock Holmes... whom she recognizes as the captivating man from the book illustration!

She's intrigued by the detective's secretive nature—not to mention drawn by their immediate heated chemistry—and the more he tries to keep his distance, the closer their bond grows. Soon she's nearly as obsessed with solving the riddle of his existence as with capturing the murderer who's stalking the neighborhood.

The mysteries collide when our heroine realizes that the trail of clues in the murder investigation leads right to the hero's door. Is the detective's elegant facade hiding a monstrous criminal? Has our heroine given her heart...and body...to a beast?

From a glittering opera gala to a creepy Victorian morgue, from wealthy but warped sophisticates to poor but savvy urchins, and from one man's supremely rational mind to the savage desperation of a prowling, unearthly creature...Fierce Moon* takes you on a sexy, haunting journey.

(*Night Wolf is an adaptation of Fierce Moon for teen / young adult audiences. There's slightly less steam / violence, though considering the plot I'd say it's still PG-13. On the plus side, it's cheaper. )


Whether you play the role of our brave, determined heroine, the enigmatic, tortured hero, or the heroine's mysteriously manipulative yet generous friend, you'll find yourself in the thick of this unique romantic thriller. Along with the names, you can also customize the characters' eye color, hair color/length/style, body type, and even include a pet. You can also upload a photo to customize the back cover, which I think adds a really nice touch.

Now I don't make any claims that these are brilliant examples of literature -- most personalized books are basically genre pastiches -- but I'm proud of the books and they're lots of fun. They'd make terrific gifts for fans of Sherlock Holmes, Anne Perry's Monk or Pitt series, True Blood, Twilight, Harry Potter, paranormal romances, gothic romances, or even steampunk / gaslight romances.

Not into mysteries or dark romances? The other novel I've written for this publisher is Tropical Treasure, a lighthearted take at reality TV. Join the cast of a gameshow on a tropic island for a chance at $1 million... and the ultimate prize: true love. Watch the trailer | Try a free demo | Order now
---------------------------------------------------
If you have any questions about how these books work, don't hesitate to ask away! Also if you do check out those videos, I hope you'll click the "like" button and maybe even comment. Every bit helps. Thanks!

Last edited by choie; 12-11-2010 at 04:26 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-11-2010, 05:20 PM
loshan is offline
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One question: What age range "teens" are we talking about.
I went to your site and these look like really cool gifts, but from the preview I couldn't tell how involved the the romantic encounters are.
I think my 13 year old niece would love something like this, but don't know if she might be a little young to be reading about her own makeout sessions.
  #3  
Old 12-11-2010, 05:55 PM
choie is offline
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Ooh thanks, that's a great question, loshan.

It's a bit of a toughie, 'cause that's a borderline age and kids can really differ as far as what they're comfortable with.

The main love scene in Night Wolf involves deep kissing and some brief, uh, caressing action that occurs with their clothes on -- "the exposed skin above her bodice" type of deal. (I should mention that the heroine's referred to as a high school senior and the hero is an early grad of Oxford.)

So things do get fairly heated but it's almost all above-the-neck, and they don't have sex. It's about the same level as the first Twilight novel -- but as you rightly say, it's different when you're the one described as doing the 'heated' stuff. So if your niece is a young 13 (maturitywise), it might be a bit awkward.

One option: you could 'cast' her as the heroine's friend, who has two roles: she shows up in the 21st century and gives the book to the heroine, and her doppelganger appears in the 19th century as the heiress who owns a boarding house where the heroine ends up staying. But it's not as much fun.

If she's into paranormal romances, you might get her First Bite, which is a vampire romance that's not as descriptive as NW. Or for something super-clean, try Prom and Prejudice. In there, the heroine / hero are mostly just friends with romantic overtones. As in, malt-shop-and-soda level romance.

Does that help a bit? Thanks for asking & also for trying the preview!
  #4  
Old 12-11-2010, 07:03 PM
loshan is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply, I am going to look at some of the other titles. SHE might be okay with the kissing/caressing but I'm not sure Auntie Loshan is Imay go ahead and get it for her anyway and hold onto it for a later gift.
I have been racking my brain for a gift for her other than clothes and this fits the bill perfectly! I will definitely add a "like" for you.
  #5  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:58 PM
Count Blucher is offline
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I wish I could ask about getting into the business, but somehow I'm sure the line is longer than the DOT at the end of the month. You seem to have a great niche and you have made me think more about toning down what I write to appeal to a greater audience. Thank You!
  #6  
Old 12-15-2010, 12:24 PM
choie is offline
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Psst, we're having a sale and offering 10% to anyone using promo code XMAS2010 -- no need to shlep over to the Facebook sites. Order by Tuesday and you'll get the books by Christmas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loshan View Post
Thanks for the quick reply, I am going to look at some of the other titles. SHE might be okay with the kissing/caressing but I'm not sure Auntie Loshan is Imay go ahead and get it for her anyway and hold onto it for a later gift.
I have been racking my brain for a gift for her other than clothes and this fits the bill perfectly! I will definitely add a "like" for you.
Aw thanks! I totally understand about the discomfort. I've got a 14-year-old niece and I wouldn't feel comfortable giving her one of my own books with her as the star! Instead I'd probably give her a gift certificate so she can pick out the book's characters herself. This way she can plug in whatever crush du jour she wants as the lead guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Blucher View Post
I wish I could ask about getting into the business, but somehow I'm sure the line is longer than the DOT at the end of the month. You seem to have a great niche and you have made me think more about toning down what I write to appeal to a greater audience. Thank You!
Wow, you're very welcome. Actually, the publisher's always looking for new writers. I've recruited people before with varying success*. If your work falls into specific marketable genres and you can a) write on deadline, b) get used to the unusual restrictions of the form, and c) don't mind being edited as necessary, it's a nice writing-for-hire gig.

By 'unusual restrictions' I mean the personalization of the lead characters. Since the readers are literally inserting themselves into the lead roles -- sorta like the ultimate Mary Sue fanfic! -- we can't really make the characters hugely flawed or dark or even refer to relatives in any great specificity. The leads tend to be like costumes for readers to don and playact with. One size must fit all.

Though I really pushed the limit in the books above, which are somewhat darker than any of the other books (I mean, they're about a series of brutal murders and an angsty/guilty hero who undergoes some torturous transformations) but usually that's not how the publisher likes to roll. These are fantasies and they're supposed to be mostly light, fun, frothy adventures. I managed to convince the publisher that the target audience for these books (people who like mysteries / gothic romances / supernatural tales) wouldn't mind going a bit darker.

The limitations are both frustrating and challenging but as I said, a decent gig, especially for new authors. BTW, for most of the romances and teen books I'm in charge of the editing and helping the authors develop their work. So it'd be fun to work with a Doper in that capacity!

If you want to learn more feel free to PM me.

* actually Fierce Moon started under a different author whom I'd recruited, but he kept missing deadlines and the end product was delivered with only three weeks before the book needed to be published with only 21K words and subpar quality. (Very unusual because the guy's a decent writer normally.) So 'twas up to me to rewrite the whole frakkin' thing.

Last edited by choie; 12-15-2010 at 12:26 PM. Reason: 'cause if I'm an editor I should really know that 'confince' isn't a word.
  #7  
Old 02-02-2011, 08:06 PM
choie is offline
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Since Valentine's Day is approaching, I thought I'd give this a little nudge for those who're stumped trying to find a unique romantic gift for that special someone who digs gothic romance / romantic suspense / mystery novels. Valentine's Day is what these personalized romances are all about!

Naturally the XMAS code isn't working anymore, but there'll probably be a last-minute promo code that I'll share here if people are interested.

Ooh almost forgot: the publisher now offers books featuring gay and lesbian couples, so if you're looking for a cool gift with two women or two guys playing the lead roles, go for it! Actually, the F/F novel is adapted from my Tropical Treasure, so I can personally vouch for that.

Last edited by choie; 02-02-2011 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Helps if I include a link.
  #8  
Old 02-08-2011, 10:15 AM
Sunspace is offline
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Got any science fiction?
  #9  
Old 02-09-2011, 12:07 PM
choie is offline
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Hi Sunspace! They have Starstruck, which is a take on Star Trek or a similar starship-based genre. Here's a trailer video and the link for the book itself.

If anyone wants a promo code for 15% off (good from now until Feb 11 at 10PM), PM me!
  #10  
Old 12-19-2011, 04:22 PM
choie is offline
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Hey all. I hope it's okay to bump this.

My publisher's having a sale that's good through Christmas, and you can order as late as December 21 and still get your personalized book(s) delivered by Christmas (well, if you choose the courier expression option).

Use the code holiday2011 at checkout to take 10% off your order.

They have all sorts of genre books in addition to mine -- although mine's the best I swear! -- such as fantasy, sci-fi (well, Star Trek-sh sci-fi), two same-sex novels (the one for women is actually an adapted edition of my book Tropical Treasure), western, medieval, and so on. And if you're looking for other ideas they also have personalized classics like Sense and Sensibility, Secret Garden, Dracula, Treasure Island, Pride and Prejudice, and Phantom of the Opera. Finally, there are the teen and kids' books as well.

I'd be thrilled if someone takes advantage of this offer and picks one of my novels; it'd be awesome to have some SDMB readers. Anyway, just thought I'd give you all the heads-up!
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