Greetings, Readers! I hope you’re enjoying my Monday Meanderings. I’ve created this regular newsletter since beginning my newest day job to keep me engaged with you on a regular basis. This will provide a way for you to know what’s going on with me even though I’m not camping out on Social Media anymore.
Writing, Writing, Writing!
Most of the time, I’m happy to be a part of the writing industry, I truly am. In a perfect world, people who agree to do something for you will do it, and do it with excellence. My writing world hasn’t been so excellent lately. Mainly, because I’m dealing with a person who purports to be professional in their field who isn’t. I’ve written a bit about this in the past here: Am I Too Nice For My Own Good? But I digress. Recently, I hired someone to do a project for me. An agreement was made and I was promised my project would be complete earlier than I anticipated. However, the first milestone was never reached and an excuse was given, which I accepted because “we’re all human, and life happens, right?” Then the next deadline was missed, but I was given part of the project (just a tiny part). Then I’m thinking, surely the next deadline will be met. Right? Didn’t happen. A month after this professional accepted my project, I still don’t have it. I have been promised yet again it will be ready this weekend. I’m waiting with bated breath. Not! I have no faith that the project will be ready this weekend when only one third of it has been done in a month!
I try to be a nice and understanding person, but writing is my business, and I try to maintain a consistency of quality which begets the title of professional. I’m human, too, so I make mistakes. I have a job that pays my bills and I have my writing business (which currently pays no bills. Hahaha!). In my writing business, I miss deadlines, but rather than make excuses, I own my mistakes, apologize to my readers, and move forward. What I’ve found that happens a lot with the “professionals” I use to support my business is an inconsistency in quality, inefficiency in providing services, and an unwillingness to own their mistakes and make it right.
Is it too much to ask to expect that when someone promises you a project will be done, that it will be done on time? I don’t think so. How do I mitigate situations like these? I guess I need to manage my expectations better, and if that makes me a bitch, then so be it. I am tired of people taking my kindness for weakness and giving me lackluster projects and services for my hard-earned money. In the future, if someone doesn’t uphold the letter of our agreement, I won’t be using their services anymore. Contracts will be iron-clad with language in them that support liquidated damages when milestones and deadlines aren’t met. Simply put, I’m going to be kicking ass and taking names! Names that will be dead to me moving forward in my perfect writing world.
Speaking of writing, if you want to read one of my books while you’re waiting on my new stuff to publish, you can find all my books here: LV Lewis books!
New Genre: Reverse-Harem (It’s Raining Men, Hallelujah!)
Over the past year, I’ve been reading a new romance genre called Reverse Harem (or RH, because we writers love our acroynyms, don’t we?). I heard about this genre about the same time that a very good writer friend mine began writing her own Reverse Harem novels (I’m looking at you, Angel Lawson). If you’re not familiar with it, Reverse Harem novels are those where you have a female protagonist who is the central focus or love interest of three or more male protagonists in a novel. Yes, RH goes there! The idea of RH first began in anime and manga and eventually spread to the romance genre, which has been growing like wildfire.
Nys Glover, author of The Airluds Trilogy, explained RH in the best way I’ve seen yet: “Men have had their harem fantasies forever. I think women have finally given themselves permission to entertain such fantasies, too. But unlike the male fantasy, a woman’s fantasy isn’t so much about sex as it is about romance. It’s the idea of being loved and cherished by more than one man, and protected and supported, too. The steamier end of the market covers the hot sex that’s possible, but it’s not necessary. There are a lot of YA reverse-harem books that contain no sex. In a way it’s like taking popularity to the next level.”
Generally, I am not an early adopter of anything. I tend to be the type who likes to wait and see if something is going to “take” before I go all in. Well, now that I’ve seen that RH is likely here to stay, I’ve been reading some of the stories to see if this genre might be a good fit for me to write (the jury is still out on this, by the way, but you’ll be the first to know if I decide to wade into the waters of RH). My reading taste in Reverse Harem has been primarily the paranormal lane. I find I can suspend disbelief easier if there’s a paranormal slant to the books. There is now a very robust community of authors and readers in the RH genre, and there are sub-genres in the main genre. Who knew? So, if you’re interested in testing the waters reading-wise, I have some recommendations for you.
The Best Reverse Harem Series’ I’ve Read Lately!
One of the first Reverse Harem series I read was Curse of The Gods by Jaymin Eve and Jane Washington (Trickery, Persuasion, Seduction and Strength). These novels have a fair amount of world building you have to slog through, and Willa Knight, the main character has quite an inferiority complex, partly due to the lot in life to which she was born, and partly due to the people around her. Although she is likely the clumsiest woman ever born in her home of Minastol. When a mix-up of epic proportions lands her in Blesswood, where Sols (Gods in training) reside, she is forced to keep up the ruse, or die. When she is tasked to serve the Abcurse brothers, her tenuous position in Blesswood becomes even more of a challenge. If you’re a fan of God mythology with a twist, you might find Curse of The Gods to your liking.
Tate James’ Kit Davenport Series was my next foray into Reverse Harems. This series has a total of five books currently, so no need to feel like you’re dangling on a cliffhanger anytime soon (The Vixen’s Lead, The Dragon’s Wing, The Tiger’s Ambush, The Viper’s Nest, and The Crow’s Murder). Heroine Kit Davenport is a world-renowned thief only known by her secret identity, the fox. She is clever, cunning, and has abilities she’s trying to master, but is so busy evading her captors, she’s unable to wield them well. Her driving force is vengeance against those who’ve wronged her, but as she gets closer to that goal, she picks up a group of allies who give her something she’s never had before: acceptance and love. Each book takes her on a different journey to discovering the truth. Tate James is a master at divulging just enough to keep you reading from one book to the next. Once you read the stunning climax, though, you’ll be thoroughly satisfied with the outcome.
My good friend, Angel Lawson, has made Reverse Harem her writing niche in recent months, and I’ve read all of her Raven Queen’s Harem Series (Raven’s Mark, Ebony Rising, Black Magic, Obsidian Fire, Onyx Eclipse and Midnight’s End). All six books are complete, so no need to wait on any followup. Morgan, an aspiring author, receives a scholarship to NYU graduate school, where she is set to realize her dream as a published author writing books about some events from her childhood. Unbeknownst to her, these events may just be more real than she could ever have imagined. Her housemates in her scholarship program just happen to be five of the hottest artists she’s ever met: Sam the photographer, Damien the welder, Bunny the painter, Clinton the musician, and Dylan the historian. Her destiny may rest upon seeking their assistance.
Another RH series by Angel Lawson are The Supers of Project 12. As a lover of all things Marvel and DC, I absolutely adore this series, because I’m a comic book nerd from the old days. If you love Stan Lee’s offerings as much as I do, I’m sure you’ll love The Supers, too. Astrid, the heroine, is the product of a state run group home, where she remembers fantastical things that happened for her and some of the other members of the home. In early adulthood, by day she is helping her guardian and mentor to run a program to train young people who desire to work for the government as operatives. By night, she is a super hero who rids their town of bad guys, until things go awry and she’s thrust into a leading role, and her past meets her present in surprising ways. Some welcome and sexy, and others unwelcome and threatening. Astrid builds a team of loyal allies whom she may have to enlist to take down one or more of their own. Lots of kick-ass action and a sexy reverse-harem take on the super heroes trope.
As a woman of color, I had to find some of these with heroines that look like me, so if you’re also a woman of color and would like to see some heroines of color in this genre, you might want to check out Ripley Prosperina’s The Searchers Series, beginning with Finding Honor. The reading order for the series is Finding Honor, Finding Nora, Finding Valor, and Finding Truth. Nora Leslie, the heroine in this series gets caught up in a tragedy which could be ripped form the headlines of today’s news. The substitute teacher is first regaled as a hero for saving the lives of her students, but then she is linked to a troubled young man who was likewise a ward of the state as she once was, and quickly becomes a suspect. Her introduction to law student, Ryan Valore, and his roommates may just help her find the redemption and love she seeks.
Another Series starring a heroine of color is the An Obscure Magic Series by Viola Grace. The first three books in the series, One Part Human, Two Parts Demon, Three Parts Fey, follow heroine, Beneficia (Benny) Ganger, who gets more than she bargains for when she’s subjected to a ride-along with three agents of the XIA, the eXtranormal Investigation Agency (who also happen to be a vampire, a shifter, and a fey). But Benny may be harboring secret abilities of her own, the likes of which the XIA haven’t seen. The world building in this intrigued me and I just had to figure out what was going on. I think you’ll be likewise roped in. While this series has additional books, they are not featuring Benny, so I haven’t read them yet, but I’m sure Ms. Viola Grace has put just as much skill into the later books that she did in the first three.
Mark my words! You will be absolutely thrilled, positively entertained, and extremely turned on by all of these enthralling books!
“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.” – Stephen King