Blog Tour ~ Complexity by Harper Miller ~ (Guest Post, Excerpt + Giveaway)
SERIES: Kinky Connect Chronicles
AUTHOR: Harper Miller
COVER ARTIST: Taria Reed Digital Artist
LENGTH: 140 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 8, 2016
BLURB: Fairy tale endings weren’t made for people like me. Happy for now usually ain’t in the cards, either.
The dents on my wall from where my headboard kept knockin’ against the same spot was the first clue that I needed to calm my ass down. At the rate I was racking up notches and plowing through hookups, I wasn’t ever gonna find nothing real. Guess I kinda jinxed myself. I created my circumstances. You can’t get what you want if you keep falling back into the same pattern of bad habits. But then things changed. I stumbled onto somethin’ I never in a million years expected to happen. You gotta understand, I’m never the guy who wins. It was supposed to be just sex, but that shifty, rhyming and scheming bastard, Cupid, pulled a fast one.
I may have changed some stuff to protect a couple of people. But before you go believing the tabloids, make sure you understand that you’re gettin’ the lowdown straight from the source.
I needed to get this off my chest and it’s only fair that you at least get my side of it all. At some point, I might regret telling you any of this, but for now, you need to know.
*Disclaimer* This is a novella. Not a short story, novelette, or novel. This tale features an M/M pairing. If gay erotica/erotic romance is not your cup of tea and you are offended by same-sex relationships or crass language, you should bypass this story. Content is intended for a mature audience, 18+.
Could we be more different? Him: famous, rich white dude. Me: Latino entrepreneur who stocked up on ramen noodles and peanut butter when Key Food had a sale. This dude was so beyond my scope but he didn’t act any differently than a hookup I would’ve scored downtown at one of the gay bars in Chelsea.
Honestly, I didn’t know if me taking this shit with Christopher to the next level was a good thing or a bad thing. I held my own. I had my own business and made money legitimately doing shit I loved. Some days were a struggle, and I fell on hard times every now and again, but I woke up with a sense of purpose. Maybe I was overthinking things. I knew this was just about sex, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I was some sort of pity fuck or if Chris had a Latino fetish. He seemed genuinely attracted to me, but you know, there’s always somebody on the web lookin’ to get their rocks off with that token piece of ass.
I needed to stop with the assumptions and just take the moment for what it was, because an opportunity like this wouldn’t ever happen again.
Stayin’ in my head was gonna fuck everything up, so I focused on the twinkling lights near the waterfront seventeen stories down. “Good, I don’t bareback either. If rubbers aren’t required, we ain’t fuckin’. Seems like it’s a little too late to be having this discussion, but I’m clean. I get tested every six weeks. Got a copy of my results in my wallet if you wanna see.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Every six weeks? Sleep around a lot?”
I laughed, pulling off my polo. “I like sex. I like safe sex. I like to be certain I stay safe, so if that means gettin’ tested more often, I’m cool with that.”
The Power of Beta Readers
First, let me say all beta readers are not created equal. If you happen to find a couple of good ones, they might not always be the right fit for each story you write. An author might have to switch their game up depending on their needs.
I use beta readers when I’m not sure how my audience will react to a story. I used them for my debut novel, The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance and I also used them for my most recent release Complexity (we won’t even talk about the first round feedback for the unpublished stuff). How did I go about selecting my beta readers? Well, before I became an author I was a PA and a die-hard reader. I made connections with other die-hard readers and bloggers who also happened to be brutally honest in their reviews. When I was ready to take the leap into self-publishing, I let them know what my plan of action was, and I also asked them if they were willing to critique my story. They agreed.
I still use the same beta readers but I also invested in a few new ones specifically for Complexity. I was writing in a new subgenre, and although I read a lot of M/M romance, I wanted to get balanced perspectives: Thoughts from someone who doesn’t read gay romance regularly, someone who identifies as gay or bi, and someone who not only reads gay romance but writes it as well. From those three perspectives, which included some pretty detailed critique, I was able to come out with a product I’m extremely proud of.
Why do authors use beta readers? Some authors use beta readers to get a sense of how their story is coming across to a reader. Is the plot weak? Is the character development lacking? Were the sexy times hawt? I believe beta readers are an author’s first line of defense. They’re the people you want to go to before entering the editing phase. You want them to tear your work apart. Once authors hit publish, all bets are off. It’s better to hear critique first from your writing team rather than your first critical feedback to come from a reader. We cannot expect to be dealt with tenderly when it comes to reviews. Some writers have an expectation of being coddled, and beta readers to some degree break you out of that expectation.
For Complexity, I was harder on myself than my beta readers were. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they ripped me a new one, but once I had their commentary in addition to my editor’s feedback regarding my first draft, I wanted to curl up into a ball with a bottle of vodka while listening to Celine Dion’s “All By Myself.” It was that serious y’all. I got slayed, but it made me a better writer.
To the beta readers of the world, I salute you. To my beta readers, thank you for always being there for me. Complexity wouldn’t be what it is without you.
Interested in the completed product? Check out the buy links below:
Amazon US: http://ow.ly/qMZz301726F
Amazon UK: http://ow.ly/ViAs30172cn
All Romance: http://ow.ly/RG0F30171R8
Book One, Ironic (M/F dynamic) in the Kinky Connect Chronicles is free until July 29th on All Romance eBooks and Kobo.
Harper Miller is a thirty-something native New Yorker. She's traveled the world and lived in a variety of places but always finds her way back to the Big Apple. A lackluster love life leaves time to explore new interests, for Harper it is writing. The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance is her debut novel. In her mind, the perfect Alpha male possesses intellect, humor, and a kinky streak that rivals the size of California.
When she isn't writing, Harper utilizes her graduate degree in the field of medical research. She enjoys fitness-related activities, drinking copious amounts of wine and going on bad dates.
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Winner’s Prize: $10 Amazon GC
July 20: MM Good Book Reviews