Saturday, June 9, 2012

Master Marc, Subplots, Erotic Romance, and, well, Nobody's Perfect

I'm beginning to think I jinxed myself by giving this book the title I did.

Status of Nobody's Perfect

I'm writing, writing, writing, but the ever-loving (?) Master Marc has thrown me yet another curve ball. Okay, it was totally inadvertent this time. But here I am trying to get this man closer to his Happily Ever After with Angelina, so you'd think he'd quit doing this to me. (Some of you may recall that three weeks before his book came out, he told me he didn't want to share anymore. So, I had to pitch 80,000 words and rewrite most of Nobody's Angel in three weeks. It's a wonder the book makes any sense at all.)

Yes, Marc's been like this since I first met him over three years ago when I wrote Nobody's Angel--well, when I wrote the FIRST version of it. He opened up a little more for me in Masters at Arms, which I wrote a year ago, but you all know he was still very closed up there emotionally. (That's why some readers wanted to skip over his book and go straight to Adam's--but, of course, they'd have missed a whole lot of Adam and Karla's story if they did that, so hopefully, they gave Marc a chance.) And I know he redeemed himself with a lot of readers and started to let down his walls (by becoming a one-woman man, for instance). But, darn it, I knew there was no way to get him to Happily Ever After in the week or so he was with Angelina in that book, so I had to leave it at Happy For Now. I knew he'd come back later to resolve his issues (and hoped and prayed I'd figure out what was causing the problem by that time).

But despite his desire to be with Angelina, he just wouldn't make himself vulnerable to her, which became clear to me in this book. He's never been completely open about what's going on the makes trust such an issue for him--no, he had no trouble demanding trust from Angelina. But GIVING his trust to her and not doing stupid things to sabbotage her trust (like "the lie") just wasn't within his ability it seemed. 

Well, with the help of my editor, the awesome Jeri Smith, I finally know his backstory. (Y'all do know that I just sit in the chair and write. I don't outline, plot, or do anything to hem my characters into MY realm of reference. I just wait until they're ready to reveal to me THEIR realm of reference--their stories.)

So, at least Mama D'Alessio is spilling the whole sordid mess to me, Marc, Angelina, and eventually to you, when you read Nobody's Perfect. Okay, he's slightly off the hook, because much of it he didn't know on a conscious level. And, yes, for him to finally be able to get in touch with those deep-seated insecurities and fears, Marc will have to be blindfolded a couple of times in Perfect. But Angelina, Adam, and I are determined to get to the bottom of his issues. (Hmmm, but he does kinda look sexy in a blindfold, though, doesn't he? I love Raoul Bova, who inspired Master Marc!)

To Subplot or not to Subplot?

Someone mentioned in a review once that she was annoyed by being pulled out of the main romance and into the subplot involving Damian and Savi in Nobody's Hero, the book which was focused primarily on Adam and Karla's romantic journey. Luckily, the majority of my readers love getting updates on the other characters in this close-knit brotherhood. So, what about you? Does it bother you if an author explores a major problem faced by a couple that isn't the primary hero and heroine, similar to what happens in mainstream-length novels? Other than Marc and Damian being like brothers, Marc's problem in Perfect does not really tie in with Damian and Savi's story as well as Damian and Savi's subplot in Hero was tied closely into Adam and Karla's story.

Personally, as a writer, this is why I write my erotic romances more like mainstream novels. (Hey, if the Fifty Shades trilogy is considered mainstream by its new publisher--and it seems so, since they've removed them from the erotica category on Amazon, then I'll stack my series up against other mainstream novels any day.)

But I digress. When I write, I don't like to just focus on one sex scene after another (which would be erotica by its true definition, although Amazon doesn't differentiate between erotica and erotic romance, so I have to call it erotica there). I also don't like to just focus on one couple in a book--that would make it Harlequin type of book (which is much shorter, so they really don't have room to explore much other than the primary couple's romance. But I'm not writing Harlequins (for a reason!) either.

Off the track yet again. (I seem to be rambling a lot on here lately!) So, once I figured out what the problem was with Marc, I went into a chat with one of my beta readers, Kathy Holtsclaw,  and her hubby, the other day. They helped me figure out what it was going to take in order to break this guy's defenses down. Oh, my! Master Adam to the rescue--well, Marc won't feel rescued in the middle of the process, but hopefully by the time the scene is finished, he will. I now need to research and write a BDSM interrogation scene!

Release date for Nobody's Perfect?

So, I'm writing like crazy, but that release date of June 19 is really going to be a stretch for me at this point. I haven't abandoned the idea of the 19th (tonight's and tomorrow's progress will tell the tale, so to speak). But I've learned from experience that I need to make sure I make the book the best it can be before I publish it because informing readers that there are new versions out there for them to re-download (like the new versions of the first three books I published again on May 31!), is impossible once the horse is out of the barn.

Of course, I'm still working on Damian and Savi's story, too, which still has a way to go before it's completed to my satisfaction. Please stay tuned to my blogs and comments here at Ahh, Kallypso...the stories you tell, read my ramblings on Facebook (personal page, if you've friended me, and my author page), on Twitter (which feeds to Facebook), and be sure to sign up for my newsletter (look up and to the right) so you won't miss the next issue, which will be the announcement that the book has been released, whenever that is!

Updates on First Three Books in Series

In the meantime, I have to report that Masters at Arms had to be removed from Barnes & Noble, because they don't allow free books anymore (at least not at the author's discretion) and I can't sell it for 99 cents there if it's free everywhere else.

My biggest worry is that people won't know there is a prequel/introduction to the series. So, please, if you tell your friends about the series and they don't normally buy book at Smashwords or All Romance eBooks (where the epub versions of all three books are available--and I make more in royalties at Smashwords, if they don't have a preference!), tell them to at least go there to get the free version of Masters at Arms to read before they start the other books. (Can you imagine not reading that first and all that you'd have missed about these guys, plus Karla and Savi?)

Now, back to finishing this book!


  1. I personally like having updates on the other characters in the books because every story might have a happy ever after but what about all the stuff in between until they get there....

  2. Thanks, Merriedth! I also have a tendency to take multiple books to get characters to a Happily Ever After. (It took three books for Adam and Karla!) But even have that, the characters still have to work at their HEA. They require maintenance! I know this from experience--and I do like to write realistic romances, not fantasy ones. (Not that I don't include fantasy elements, like 50-year-old Adam being able to go at it again in a short amount of time--and his being able to find a parking place in Chicago's Lincoln Park over Thanksgiving Weekend. LOL) But Adam and Karla will continue to work on their romance in books five and six, in particular. And you don't get much more HEA than the ending of their story in Nobody's Hero!

    1. Thats what I like about them because in the real world we have to constantly work at our HEA so the characters in the books should is only fair after

  3. I love how you continue each character throughout all the books. It helps us reader who get attached and want to know all we can about them. Also, the stories are better when they are all tied together and we see the couples continue to grow in their relationships and friendships, it makes the stories more realistic.

    Thanks for the updates and I am glad that you worked through the problems with Marc. I am sure that his HEA will be much better since he figured out his problems and began to work through them.

  4. I also love to read more about characters in previous books because they become important in a series.

  5. I love hearing about the other characters. That is why I like reading a series. Is it better if it some how wraps into the main story? Yes. Good writers make that happen. You are a GREAT writer! You can't make everyone happy. The best thing is to be true to your vision of your characters.

    Do you make more royalties with Smashwords than Kindle? Does the epub format work on the Nook? 'cause I have a Nook I loaned my hubby. I'd be happy to snatch that book back if it is better for the author, especially one building up their catalog.

  6. It doesn't bother me to read updates on other characters during another character's time. Matter of fact, I kind of like it. It keeps all of the characters closer like the family they are.

  7. You can't leave out the others! Even if they are not the main focus of that novel, I as a reader miss them. Your characters are a family! Yes, all the men have different backgrounds and experiences-- but without each other they wouldn't be the men we love. You writing is amazing and although I dread the waiting, I understand your need for "perfection"... Thanks for always keeping us (your readers) updated and involved!

  8. I love getting updates on previous characters. There are more than 2 people in stories, and their relationships are affected by and affect others.
    Oh, if Angelina gets tired of waiting for Marc to straighten up, I will take him. LOL

  9. I agree with Liz A (above). Ongoing storylines and character updates are the whole point to a "series". I love following along with ALL the characters. They are family.

    If the book isn't finished by the 19th, we'll wait. We want you to be happy with what you are releasing. We won't be happy until you are.

    As a side note, I think Cherise Sinclair did a sort-of bdsm interrogation in one the Shadowlands stories by putting the sub into subspace and then interrogating them.

  10. I didn't see a problem reading about Damain in Adam's book; infact, it gave me good back ground and has me chaffing at the bit to read Damain's story!

  11. I love the updates to other characters contained in your books. I find other books, that don't do this, can be too intense and become one dimensional. It is important that you explain the developments in other characters to set the scene for more books in the series. Love the books! I downloaded all 3 very recently to my Kindle. How can I tell if I have the new versions?

  12. No wonder you all are fans of my books! But in this book, you'll not only get a glimpse into Luke and Grant for their upcoming books, I will bring Marc and Angelina back to deal with a trust issue (but it's not the one we THOUGHT they had)!

    HillyB1, the new versions will have May 2012 revision dates on the copyright pages.


    If you have older ones, do a live chat with AMAZON and ask for the newer ones. (They want to counsel you that you will lose bookmarks and notes from your older versions on your Kindle--so if you need to save those to your computer first, do that.) At SMASHWORDS, just download it again from the same account you purchased from, choosing the top one each time. At ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS, go to your library and click it and you should get the new one. At BARNES & NOBLE, well, a reader told me last night they won't give readers the new ones unless they re-purchase them. (I just don't know what ails B&N--but if they go out of business, I won't be surprised.) So, just e-mail me at if you need a B&N replacement and I'll just ask a question to confirm that you have the book originally! (There are some people who aren't ethical and would try to get the book free.)

    Oh, and for MASTERS AT ARMS, it might show up at B&N again if they accept the free version from Smashwords. If not, get that at Smashwords or All Romance eBooks if you need epub or pdf--or just want to get your Kindle version somewhere other than Amazon.

    Thanks, everyone!


  13. I, like most everyone above, love reading updates on the guys and gals from previous stories. I loved reading about Damo and Savi in Adam and Karla's book! And poor you and Angelina, Master Marc sounds like he is being a pill. ;)
    Good luck with getting it all worked out. I am so excited to read Nobody's Perfect!!! :D

  14. Thanks Kally. I couldn't figure out how to get the updated version on the kindle.

    I agree with everyone else. The whole point of reading a series is that you want/get to catch up with everyone else and they'd be a pretty rubbish family if they abandoned each other once they got the girl. I tend to feel cheated reading stand alone books because I want to know what happens to the other characters. I love that you add what's happening to the other characters even if they're not the main focus of that book. If I wanted to read about just the main couple I'd read Mills and Boon! Oop's sorry about the rant.

    I'm so glad I found your series, can't wait to read Nobody's Perfect but I'm impatient to read Luke's story. I'm so glad he's the next after Damien.

  15. Shaddy83 and anyone else looking for the revisions at Amazon, they're having technical problems according to an e-mail I received today. If you need copies before they resolve the problem, just e-mail me at Thanks!

    And it warms my heart to hear I'm not the only one who wants more than cameo appearances by the characters I loved in past stories in a series.

    Now back to work. So much to do before I can release Nobody's Perfect into your hot little hands, folks!


  16. Can't wait for Nobody's Perfect!! Any idea when we will get our hands on it??

    1. Hey, LyndsAy. Kally has been keeping us updated on FB via Twitter about her progress. This is from her...
      "having a meltdown and it has nothing to do with Colo. heat wave. Looks like June 26 now at best for PERFECT release. #amediting #amwriting".
      I just wanted to let you know in case she is too busy to answer you. ;)
      I am also so excited for Damian and Savannah's story!!

  17. May I just interrupt here and say that I have the most awesome, supportive, WONDERFUL readers in all the world? Just in case you didn't know. Thanks, Tina B!

    I'm doing much better today. Yes, yesterday was a meltdown day. Today, I walked around in the Garden of the Gods at Manitou Springs, Colorado, and put things in perspective. I'm not ensconced in a hotel in Canon City, Colorado (where there don't seem to be a lot of distractions--it's really desolate here!) and I'm writing the final scenes. Will stay here until Thursday when we move further south to Antonito to take a train ride on Friday (in a Victoria-style Parlor Car--RESEARCH). However, I plan to take my laptop with me and edit on the train!

    Still looking at the book being available on June 26. Thanks for your patience and support! I know we self-published authors must drive readers insane, because we don't shelve a book for a month so we can announce a release date and do a promo tour.

    Oh, I am doing a promo tour anyway (thanks to Leagh, my assistant who is doing most of the work)--and somewhere between June 25 and June 30, you will find out exactly when the book is going to be available.

    For tour info, go to Each day, there will be $10 bookseller giftcards given away (at 11 stops!). (Just comment to win those--drawings will be the day following the official blog stop date.)

    At each of the blog stops, you will have a chance to fill out a form with changes to get lots of entries in the drawing for the GRAND PRIZE of $200 gift card at the online bookseller of your choice (selected from Amazon, B&N, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords). You can fill out that form ONCE EVERY DAY (and the more things you do to earn points, the more chances to win).

    On July 1, the day after the tour ends, everyone who signed up using the official Grand Prize form is in the drawing to win BIG!

    Thanks again and now I am settling in for the final stretch on NOBODY'S PERFECT! Thanks again!


  18. Hi Kallypso,

    First let me say, I LOVE reading about other characters as long as it adds something to the story and makes sense with the plot. Which is why I have been dropping by your website about once a week since the first week in May with fingers crossed that Nobody's Perfect will be out soon. :) But on to my main question. I am an Amazon Kindle user, but I frequent other e-book stores as well. Is there a site that consistently pays you better royalties (Smashword)? Because I am all for supporting better royalties for my favorite authors!

    Happy writing!


    1. Thanks, Haley! In Perfect, the subplot doesn't appear to have much to do with the main plot (and it won't even be resolved in this book, but hopefully in the next), but it all ties together eventually. (This is why my books are not stand-alones!)

      Smashwords has a really weird system. We're supposed to get 70%, I think, but that's on the first book sold that day. Then it can be anywhere from 75-82% after that. This is nice, but the down side is that they only pay quarterly (I think about 45 days after the end of the quarter).

      Amazon is the next best. For books over $2.99, they pay 70%--and they pay monthly, so they pay my month-to-month bills. It's also easier to track books on their bestseller list than the others, so I like watching that, too. :)

      Barnes and Noble and All Romance eBooks pay 60%, so they're the lowest. B&N pays monthly; ARe pays quarterly. (Smashwords and All Romance eBooks sell all the formats available--epub; prc--altho they call it mobi; and pdf for those wanting to purchase from someone other than the big booksellers.)

      Thanks for asking! And I'm hoping to have the book out by the end of this coming week--definitely in June!


  19. I have to say I never looked at this genre before someone dared me to read Fifty Shades. I enjoyed that series and found this one soon after I finished. It has given me a little insight to my wife's emotions and feelings and has reignited our passions. (She hasn't read any of the books yet but has noticed a change in me) Please continue to give us updates to all the characters as the books progress. You never know when an event in the subplot will positively (or negatively) impact your main characters.

    If you ever need another beta reader I'd love to be a part of it all.

    Thanks, George

  20. Good Morning,

    I am packing to go on vacation and had to check to see what was happening before leaving. I have never commented but I have to tell you that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your Master at Arms series. When I was reading Master Adams story I told my mom that I could hear Adam with Mark Harmon's (actually Gibbs) voice. To my HUGE surprise, I just read that is who you based your character on! HAHAHA! No wonder I loved him!

    I also have to say that I understand your love for the Wounded Warrior project. I was involved with a marine that lost his leg in Afghanistan and he could not forgive himself the loss of some of his crew nor could he deal with having a relationship with all he was going through emotionally and physically. It is hard on the men and to be honest, equally hard on the women that love them. I miss him and hope that one day he feels whole enough to try again. Thank you for your books. I can't wait to read Nobody's Perfect and look forward to reading more of your books as you get them finished (no rush, I can be patient when I know something that good is coming!)

    You are an amazing writer and thank you for sharing parts of yourself in the books.

    Forever a fan!