Archive for the ‘One Good Year’ Category

Straightforwardness

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Main characters in my finished and published stories, ranked in order of straightforwardness, starting with the most straightforward and ending with the least:

Rafe Dirisio — (Lone)
Paul Graham — (Paul’s Dream)
Joe Wilson — (A Picture’s Worth)
Kian Somers — (Paul’s Dream)
Zakai — (Paul’s Dream)
Joel Beckett — (Want Me)
Keith Taylor — (Chasing Winter)
Ace Donovan — (One Good Hand/One Good Year)
Riley Jameson — (One Shot)
Walker Cain — (Want Me)
Nick Carlyle — (One Shot)
Spade Hart — (One Good Hand/One Good Year)
Seth Anderson — (Lone)
Draven Donnor — (Just Perfect)
Mason Ripley — (A Picture’s Worth)
Asher Croft — (Paul’s Dream)
Jesse Winter — (Chasing Winter)
Dorian Burns — (Lone)
Cody West — (Just Perfect)

You might be thinking, “What?! How is Jesse so far down on the list, and how is WALKER square in the middle??” If you are thinking that, what follows is what passes for logic on my end:

First, this list only gauges straightforwardness, and does not take badassitude into account. Though, really, when you think about it, Jesse is plenty badass. Whenever Keith–who is gigantic and endowed with freaky super strength–steps out of line, Jesse never hesitates to knock him right back into it.

Second, the ranking is value-neutral. So whatever nefarious schemes a character might have going on (I’m looking at you, Draven), they don’t count for anything in this list.

Last, straightforwardness does not mean trustworthy. So, while Spade is arguably the most trustworthy character on the list, he waits till damned-near the end of the first book to tell Ace what he is, which Ace doesn’t take well. At all.

But anyway.

Jesse is in the bottom three because through most of Chasing Winter what he says and what he’s thinking are totally out of sync. For example:

“You always told me that willpower could accomplish anything.”

If I had known he’d remember every damned thing I said, I would have tried harder to stay away from such trite clichés. “Yes, I did say that.”

Or–

Keith grinned. “I’m making you uncomfortable, aren’t I?” He left the couch and searched out his briefs. “I’ll get out of your hair.”

I grabbed the top of the couch with my right arm and pulled myself up to watch him dress. Now that he wasn’t touching me, I felt…oh, God, I felt more alone than I ever had in my life. “Thank you.”

And he’s like that through most of the book. So now he’s on the bottom of a totally arbitrary, written-by-the-whim-of-the-author list on straightforwardness.

Jesse was fairly easy to place. If you’ve read Just Perfect, then you know why Cody ranks rock-bottom. No brainer. Same with Rafe and Paul. Rafe wears his heart on his sleeve and is always sure everyone around him knows where he stands. Paul’s heart is frozen solid for a while, but even then everything he does has a reason and he has no qualms about explaining those reasons to you.

Walker wasn’t so easy. Sure, he locks Joel to him in a horrifying spiral of magic that pretty much ruins both their lives, but remember–nefariousness has no weight on this list. He’s also a liar by nature, which would naturally rank him lower. But he doesn’t fuck around when it comes to his obsession with Joel. Never deviates. Never lets Joel forget that he’s never going to deviate. So, yeah, horrifying. But hey, straightforward.

You’re probably safer if you just don’t believe in anything Dorian does or says. Ever. I know it sort of worked out in Lone, but dude. Trust me on that one.

Riley was also hard to place. One Shot’s told from Nick’s point of view, and he’s royally freaked out through most of that story, so it’s hard to gauge how much of Riley’s actions are warped by that filter.

Seth was a pain in the ass. He’s got that crazy Ravager-magic-want-it-now-so-will-HAVE-IT-NOW thing going on. And first instinct is to rank him higher because even in human form he’s all “Look at my massive brown puppy eyes don’t you want to pet my hair?” But Seth doesn’t even know himself, so by default that cripples his ability to be straightforward with Rafe.

So that’s my logic, such as it is. I think it’s pretty easy to see why I put the others in their places on the list.

My question: Do you agree with me? Disagree? Where would you rank these guys, and why?


Interesting fact: I was not aware that “straightforwardness” was a legit word until I typed it up for the first time and didn’t get the red spell-fail squigglies. Prior to that I’d assumed I had made it up. “Squigglies,” however, is apparently fake, which feels wrong to me. >.>

Meme’d!

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Elizabeth Brooks tagged me on the Lucky Seven meme!

Rules: Go to page 7 or 77 of your latest work. Read down to the seventh line and then online the next seven lines or sentences. Then head off and tag seven more writers.

So, without further ado, I’m posting seven sentences from my latest publication– “One Good Year.”

I want what you want. I want you to be happy. But most of all I want… Curving my palm behind his nape, I drew him to my body. I lowered my head and buried my face in his hair, inhaling deeply. Even with where he’d been tonight, I could still catch the green-apple scent of his shampoo.  “I love you.”

Now, who to tag? I choose Katrina Strauss, Z.A. Maxfield, Kari Gregg, Eric Arvin, Belinda McBride, Zach Sweets, and Alex Woolfson (because I’m curious to see how he’ll swing this with a comic book).

Help a Fab Editor

Friday, April 27th, 2012

My editor at Loose Id, Raven McKnight, is ill and is currently trying to get her health insurance to do right by her.  She’s a total fighter, but fighting requires being able to sit up and breathe at the same time, and she can’t even get *those* meds.  So Katey Hawthorne got a bunch of us together in order to raise some money that will help her do just that.

How can you help?  Go to http://www.indiegogo.com/for-raven. There’s different ways to donate, and each donation level gives you a chance to win a different prize.  They’re awesome prizes, for a very good cause.

Raven edited “One Good Hand,” “One Good Year,” and “One Shot.”  She’s sharp, savvy, and not afraid to rip a manuscript apart in order to make it better.  She also keeps me from losing my damned mind at the height of edits and in those tense days just after a book release.  She’s a great editor and a credit to writing.

Let’s help her out.

Just Perfect story review

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The first official review for Just Perfect is in! Serena Yates, of QMO Books, wrote “The characters and their roles are flipped around, turned inside out and any preconception you may have had will go out the window when you read this. … This is definitely a book worth reading for its lack of conventionalism alone.”click the pic to visit the book's Torquere page

Pretty snazzy, yeah? She said a lot of other great things, which you can read at QMOBooks.com.

Reader reviews are also filtering in, but I don’t know what the protocol is on quoting those so I won’t post any here. Last I checked, the ratings on GoodReads have been across the board, resulting in a weird, perfect aggregate rating dead center at 3 stars. I’ve never had that before. Usually, the majority either likes or dislikes my book, so the rating is either over 3 or under it.

Another interesting thing I noticed was that a lot of readers felt Cody was cold and Just Perfect was generally unromantic, while many readers of One Good Year believe the story was too sentimental and overly romantic. So my advice to you is to read both stories simultaneously in order to achieve perfect balance. 😉

That’s it for the Zen of Rowan.

Have a good week!

Ace of Spades

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Want to learn the card trick Ace does for Spade in One Good Year? You’re in luck! Here is a very polite man with a very polite accent to show you how!

Like it? I also put together a playlist featuring a few flourishes similar to ones in the story. There are 13 vids because the book was released March 13th.

That is, of course, a bald-faced lie. There are 13 vids because I started out with 50, got way overstimulated, and my brain shorted out during the narrowing down process. They’re short, though, and a helluva lot of fun. You can view them here:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5D1FA2FD31FC5260

One Good Year is here!

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Heh. My title rhymes. XD

And my book is out! Book two of the One Good series, One Good Year, is Ace and Spade’s second story, and is available now at http://www.loose-id.com/One-Good-Year.aspx.

click the pic to learn more about One Good Year

Blurb:

Ten months ago, Spade was won in yet another high-stakes poker game. But Ace Donovan was different from his previous masters–kind, generous, possessed of a playfulness that only Spade could see. His new master was also broken, slowly crumbling under the pressures of undeserved guilt and pain. As Senai–a genetically engineered servant–Spade had the ability to sweep the anguish from his soul, to fulfill his every desire, and to set Ace’s spirit free.

He had not known doing these things would grant him the human’s love, or create an answering emotion within him.

There is no greater pleasure than Ace in his arms, and Spade will hold on for as long as he is wanted. Even when the orders given to him hurt, even when they make him lonely, even when it becomes clear that his master no longer needs a servant. He’s Senai. What he has now should be enough. Yet it’s not. He wants more.

One good hand brought them together. Could one good year entwine their souls?


I hope you enjoy my very first sequel!

One Very, Very Good Year

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Got my cover today. It’s Spade in a suit. And although that sentence alone is enough to fuel the imagination to wonderful places, here’s the cover in all its glory. Feel free to lick the screen. XD

click the pic to learn more about the story

Anne Cain did the art, and as always it is fantastic.

A Bit of Fluff

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

A couple of months ago, my editor at Torquere suggested I write a bit of bonus material for Just Perfect. Something from Cody’s point of view that showed what he might see in Draven. At first I had reservations, but when I started, I felt…good. So good that the piece came out 300 words over word count.

click the pic if you'd like to learn more about Just PerfectIt reminded me how much I really do love the sweet and fluffy stories. I’ve been in a dark place lately and I think my stories have been reflecting that (in really fun and twisty ways), but this tiny little excerpt made me smile. The combination of my editor’s suggestion and the card my friend sent me a while back is probably what got me going on One Good Year. It’s funny how events sometimes come together in odd and perfect ways.

Not that I have any plans to abandon my twisty stories. 😉

We had to cut the word count down to 500 before posting it on the Torquere social group, but I got permission to post the original version on my site. You can read it here.

I hope you like it.

Dude, here’s my sequel.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

If you’ve been following my stuff a while, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve got a bit of a…hang up when it comes to sequels. In that I don’t have any. The recent release of Just Perfect is a prequel to a dark little story I wrote a while back called Just Wait, but Just Wait’s been out of print since 2007, so does Just Perfect even count as a prequel? I labeled it #1 in the Drayner series so I’m guessing not.

But now, finally, I have a bonafide Book Two. It seems right that it’s part of the One Good series, since that’s what I was working on when I angsted about sequels in Dude, where’s your sequel? Of course, it’s also kind of ironic (or maybe just sad—I don’t have a good grasp of irony) that back then I was working on One Good Verse.

Turns out, Book Two in the One Good series will not be One Good Verse.

It’s called One Good Year and it’s an Ace & Spade story. XD

The novella’s tentatively scheduled to release March 13th, 2012 from Loose Id. You can read a little more about it here.

I’m excited. Are you exited?


Note: While hidden, the new One Good series pages have been available to view for newsletter members since this past Sunday. One of the perks of being on that list is getting to peek at stuff a few days (if I’m on top of my game) before it goes live. They’ll be getting another sneak peek this Sunday, so if you’d like to join the list, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rowan_mcbride/. It’s newsletter-only and very low traffic, plus you can decide if you want to have all posts delivered to your inbox, or just the ones that include chapter/installment/story announcements by choosing the “special notice” option. Special notices do not include sneak peeks unless I’ve just posted a new installment to one of my serials.

Wow, that was a very long post script.

But I’m still excited. Are you still excited? 😀

Goals: I haz them.

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

I didn’t write a New Year’s resolution post because I didn’t feel like I’d achieved much in 2010/2011. I sorta figured I was hella lucky to have a novella out in 2012 and shouldn’t push that luck. Plus I go through this thing periodically where I feel like I suck.

Then an old friend sent me a card. Inside, she had cut and pasted (as in actually cut and pasted, with paper and scissors and—I assume—paste) a dozen little quotes and images that reminded her of me. It made me laugh. It totally made me feel like I didn’t suck.

So I got back to writing, and my short little bonus fic turned into another novella. Sold novella to publisher. Rocked out to The Offspring in my living room. Realized it was only January and that this could get interesting.

Below are a list of my goals for 2012. I’m going to do my best to achieve them. I’m not going to beat myself up over it if I don’t. I’m also going to be flexible and open to change.

I think it’s going to be a good year.

  • Updates to the website
    • I didn’t put up any additions to Best of Rowan’s Ramblings for 2011, and there were some pretty good ones. (Check: 2-16-11)
    • I’m thinking of doing a bit of a redesign to the overall look and navigation to the site. For a while there I never had more than three published books out at a time, but I’m up to seven now so I think it’s fair to say that the trend is good and over. My book list is starting to look a little unruly.
    • I’d also like to make the place more mobile friendly. As is, it doesn’t look too bad on phones because the original design took into account smaller laptop/monitor screens, but a mobile option could make things cleaner and easier to navigate on a phone.
  • Updates to Stories
    • This is the year I finish The Jascian’s Toy. I can feel it.
    • Write One Good Verse, which will bring the One Good series to three. I do like that number. Plus I’ve been working on it forever and I’m really digging the world right now.
    • Maybe Touching Fire: Asher’s Magic. Asher Croft is so very hot and his story should be a lot of fun.
    • If things go well with Drayner series, #1: Just Perfect, maybe I’ll get the green light on #2: Just Wait, the rough of which is already done.
    • Get Want Me into e-book format. XD
  • Conventions
    • DragonCon, if any. I ditch it for something else this year there’s a certain group of friends who will probably murder me in my sleep.
  • Blogging
    • I’m going to try and get into a regular schedule. Maybe {gasp} write a few posts ahead of time, so I can have them set to upload automatically. Most likely Thursdays. Of course, all bets are off if I’m on a roll with the story section above.
    • Post parts 2 and 3 of my 2011 YaoiCon wrap-up before YaoiCon 2012. *headdesk*

I think that’s the plan. There’s some tweaks I want to make to my own attitude, which brings us to one of the quotes my friend sent me:

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
–Marilyn Monroe

There was a time when I wrote fearlessly, when—no matter how crazy the idea—I would take what came to me and run with it. Didn’t matter whether it was thirty-five foot giant alien teenagers kidnapping humans to be their toys, or hell-bent roommates sucking the life out of the objects of their desire. They were the stories inside me, and I had every confidence I could tell them.

That’s the big goal. The one I’m going to work hardest on. I want to write madly, brilliantly, ridiculously. I want to be the person in that carefully crafted card.

And I want to have a blast doing it.