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From the Ashes Top 100 Giveaway!

09 September 201229 comments Books!, Entangled Books, slider

Update: FtA is now live on B&N, so now you can win if we hit the top 100 on Amazon or B&N. 'cause I know some of you just love your Nooky. (Like me. ~hugs Nook Color~)

Want to win a $500 or $250 Visa gift card, a full manuscript crit, or free books? Read on to find out how - and why.

Okay, so I totally suck at this promo shit. But I kind of have a point to make. And it's kind of important to me. So I'm going to flail and fumble, and you're going to listen, and then you're gonna pat me on the head, tell me I'm crazy, ogle my pretty cover, and wander off. Sound like a deal?

Great. Let's do this.

So I'll be honest: I never meant to write LGBT fiction. Tobias just happened to like men - and happened to like Sean. So. You know. Hot man-lovin's happened and that kind of thing, in between the whole "destroy the world" and "rarrrgh I have angst" stuff. I'm hugely into genre fiction, especially science fiction, cyberpunk, dystopian, etc. And comics. So hey, if Tony Stark was gay (please God let him turn out to be gay) he'd still be a total billionaire playboy, right? So the fact that some of my characters happen to be gay is no different from the fact that some of them happen to be straight, bisexual, trans, Japanese, Irish, Hispanic, or half-African American / half-Thai (I'm looking at you, Tobias). Oh. And don't forget the hermaphroditic fish people. I mean, they get really mad. And I say "so" a lot.

That's the way it should be, if you ask me. I mean the whole "what? Gay? Okay, so what, what's the story about?" thing, not the fish people. Genre fiction that happens to have LGBT characters or characters of color shouldn't suddenly be slotted into a niche market, good only for people with special interests. These books should stand on even footing with other genre fiction books with heterosexual Caucasian characters, judged on their story and not on which subcategory their characters fall into - but how often do you see genre fiction books with LGBT characters  in the top-ranking lists unless the books are more about about being gay than anything else?

And seriously, I wish there had been more coming out stories when I was growing up, but by now, well...hey. We're out of the closet. Now let's talk about what the hell we do while we're dragging our rainbow asses down the street. We're all up in your Kool-Aid. We're part of your everyday lives. We're not going anywhere, sugarbuns, and we do things other than your hair(stylist).

Snark aside, this matters a lot to me, to see LGBT and PoC fiction normalized rather than marginalized...and to show people who feel they can't relate to LGBT and PoC characters that they can identify with them. With us. Whether it's with our stories, our struggles, or our personal development, common experience is common experience.  So with that in mind, to celebrate the release of my debut novel I'd like your help with a massive undertaking:

Let's get From the Ashes into the top 100 on Amazon or B&N by October 31st, 2012!

Not the top 100 in Gay & Lesbian books. Not the top 100 in Multicultural Romance. The top 100 in all of Amazon. (or B&N.) With your help, we can do that . Because there's like, money and shit. I'm giving away stuff. You know, to say thanks if we pull this off. And if we make it, one person will win a $500 Visa gift card, usable at any retailer that accepts Visa, while a second person will win a $250 Visa gift card. A third winner will receive either a full manuscript critique or a copy of each book in the Entangled Flirt and Ever After catalogs. I can say from first-hand experience that those books damned well rock, and not just because I edited half of them. (Are my authors watching? Did they put the pitchforks down?)

Here's how it works:

  1. Enter your name and email address* in the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post. That's all you need to do to win, but to help spread the word...
  2. Post the contest to Twitter, your blog, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. and add the book to GoodReads. There's also a whole row of little social media buttons at the bottom of this post, so use at your discretion. If you read the book and liked it, leave (honest) reviews on Amazon, B&N, and GoodReads. Anything to get the word out, make people aware of the contest, and (with luck) generate interest in the book; both reviews and purchases help raise the rankings, but to keep things on the up-and-up only leave a positive review if you actually bought and enjoyed the book. No sock-puppeting or fake reviews; let's do this legitimately or Zardoz will find you and there'll be seeds and you just don't want none of that shit. Below you'll find code for easy copy-paste badges and links, and Twitter text with the hashtag and links. These things aren't a mandatory requirement for entering, but they'll help us spread awareness and give FtA another push in the right direction for someone to win.
  3. If, at any time between now and October 31st, the FtA Amazon Best Sellers Rank or the B&N sales rank hits between 1 and 100, I'll draw three winners at random from Rafflecopter; the first winner will get a $500 Visa gift card in either digital or physical format; the second will get a $250 Visa gift card in digital or physical format (format is your choice, if you win); the third will win a full critique of their manuscript or the free ebook package, depending on the winner's preference.
  4. If the rank jumps as high as between 1 and 50, I'll add another winner with a $100 Visa gift card, throw in a few more crits, and give away some FtA swag!

To tweet / FB:

Promote LGBT mainstream fic & win a $500 gift card! Rules: Amazon: B&N: #FtA


I got peanut butter in your chocolate *and* superhero man-lovin's in your sci-fi. And there's, like, money and shit. #FtA


#FtA: Like Thai Tony Stark & flaming Captain America read your slashfic and thought it was hot.

Or you could even use:

From the Ashes in five easy words: sociopathic pretty boys kissing violently. #FtA

A badge for your blog, website, etc:

Win $500 or $250 Visa Gift Cards or a manuscript crit if From the Ashes reaches the Amazon or B&N top 100!
Because gay in your sci-fi is like peanut butter in your chocolate. It's too good to put down.

Contest Rules / Entry Page | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N | Add to GoodReads

The code (just copy/paste into the HTML editor of your blog posting utility/page):

<center><a href="" target="_blank"><img style="background: none transparent scroll repeat 0% 0%; border: 0px;" src="" alt="" width="500" height="212" border="0" /></a>
<br><strong>Win $500 or $250 Visa Gift Cards or a manuscript crit if <em>From the Ashes</em> reaches the Amazon or B&N top 100!</strong>
<br><strong>Because gay in your sci-fi is like peanut butter in your chocolate. It's too good to put down.</strong></br>
<br><a href="" target="_blank">Contest Rules / Entry Page</a> | <a href=";n=133140011&amp;s=digital-text" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon</a> | <a href="" target="_blank">Buy on B&amp;N</a> | <a href="" target="_blank">Add to GoodReads</a></center>

Let's see how far we can take this! Jesus, how many exclamation points did I use in this post?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Your email address will only be used to contact you if you win. You will not be added to any mailing lists or newsletters, and your information will remain private. Because I know I'd shank a bitch who did that newsletter crap without my permission.

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  1. Sarah Negovetich September 9, 2012

    This is such a great idea. My current WIP has LGBT characters. Their relationship is a part of the story the same way the relationships between the straight characters are. But that isn't what the book is about. Kudos to you for spreading the inclusiveness. :)

  2. Adri September 9, 2012

    <3 I think more and more people are starting to write relationships that way, and I love seeing it - but there are still so many in the reading public who'll see them as "those gay books" and not as "those awesome science fiction / fantasy / paranormal / historical / etc. books where the lead just happens to be gay." So I'm hoping maybe this will help get the idea out beyond the publishing community, which is already so full of wonderfully inclusive people who really get it. I hope one day to get to read your WIP!

  3. Angi Black September 9, 2012

    I love this idea and completely agree with you! Best of luck!

    • Adri September 9, 2012

      Thank you!

  4. Suzanne van Rooyen September 9, 2012

    Love this! My YA science fiction novel due for release this year features a bi male protagonist and my other SF novel currently on submission features a bi female protag. Never intended. It was just who the characters were. I really appreciate fiction where the sexuality of the characters is as incidental as the colour of their hair. I look forward to reading this book!

    • Adri September 9, 2012

      I'm working on a YA SF, too; it started off as M/F, but I'm rewriting it based on some feedback and it's turning into M/M. Sometimes it's hard for me not to write M/M just because we often write based on our own experience, and "gay male" is the most comfortable POV for me to slip into. But I'm working with multiple POVs in this story, so I get to challenge myself with straight male, straight female, lesbian's all over the spectrum. It's only important in how their relationships affect their story, and that's universal for any character of any sexuality - which is how I think it should be. I've seen people get so upset over books that offhandedly mention that a male character has a boyfriend, maybe showing a kiss...while they wouldn't even blink if it was the male character's girlfriend. It's just part of their character depth and giving them a rich supporting cast. Double standard much?

  5. Mason T. Matchak September 9, 2012

    Wholly behind this, and I think it's an awesome way to get the word out. ^_^ My novel "Skyborne" is on submission, and has two main characters (both women) who end up together in the end. I've been writing one version or another of these two for years, and it's always just been who they are. And their story deals with a hell of a lot more than just their relationship... They spend a lot of time trying not to die.

    Best of luck with "From the Ashes", and I hope it hits high on Amazon's list.

    • Adri September 9, 2012

      "They spend a lot of time trying not to die." I love that. And I really hope your story gets some nibbles out there in the publishing world, and that you find success with it.

  6. G. Donald Cribbs September 9, 2012

    I'm happy to support the cause of LGBT and PoC characters in the mainstream of published books. I had no idea my MC would explore whether he is bisexual or not, but it came out in the process of writing and revising. I didn't purpose to put it there, it just happened. Also, I didn't make all of my characters caucasian. Some are PoC. I didn't do that for any hidden agenda. I just let my characters be whatever nationality and sexuality they chose. Let's get FROM THE ASHES in the top 100, or better.

    • Adri September 9, 2012

      "I didn't do that for any hidden agenda."

      It irritates me bloody stupid when people assume people only write LGBT and PoC characters for an agenda. It's like...we're part of your life, part of your landscape. We color your world. So how is it an agenda to include people who are realistically part of the world you live in? But people still get stupid about it. A long time ago, when I wrote my first "novel" as part of an eighth-grade assignment, my teacher told me I had to make my main character white because no one wanted to read about black people. She actually asked me "But why does she have to be black?" Like I have to justify her being something other than white, when no one has to justify being white. She made me feel like I had to justify me being something other than white, which was just wrong.

      • G. Donald Cribbs September 9, 2012

        I can't believe your teacher seriously asked you to change the ethnicity of your character. Writers are "along for the ride" and sometimes our characters don't reveal all their secrets and layers up front. It takes time for them to trust us enough to share certain things. If they honor us by taking that risk, who are we to tell them they can't be gay or bi or black or Indian or Thai? I lived in China after college for a year teaching English. That colored my world. I want to write about that. Not some all white, all hetero diatribe. I should probably stop now.

  7. I love writing a character and then suddenly realizing their significant other is the same sex, but only after I've written fifty pages about them (including writing their partners into the novel). It doesn't seem to matter at all when I'm writing them. I just write them how they are.

    We don't have a special section in the bookstore for books about Japanese people, or books about couples who are of different races, or books whose main characters are Episcopalian. There would be outrage. It's silly to say that a novel will only appeal to a certain group of readers because of the sexual orientation of the characters. Just as silly as saying Stephen King books will only be of interest to people who live in creepy towns in Maine, or Agatha Christie books will only appeal to meddling old ladies who like to knit or expat Belgians.

    • Adri September 9, 2012

      Depending on where you live, your store just might have something like that. There's an Asian-American fiction section in my local B&N, and a multicultural romance section...along with an African-American fiction section, an LGBT section, etc. It kind of drives me crazy, because on one's a good thing for people who actively want to find that sort of fiction, whether it's to identify with the characters or to show support for inclusiveness by buying these books as part of their genre fiction purchases. On the other hand, it's just another nail in the coffin marking these things as other instead of normal, so I get all grrrrr.

  8. Elisabeth Roseland September 9, 2012

    Can I just "like" your entire post?

    LGBT and PoC laugh, love, cry, are cruel to each other, fight with their families, are crazy about their pets, are allergic to shellfish, are into video games, motorcycles, space exploration, and sports--in other words, are *people.* They should be portrayed in fiction as such: complicated people with a host of issues that are related to being human, of which their sexuality and race are only part of that equation.

    Personally, I snatch up any book that features LGBT and PoC characters in a thoughtful, non-stereotypical way (and yes, I've already bought your book!). I also strive to portray a diverse range of people in my own fiction. In fact, my first book, which comes out in December, is an erotic romance with an African American hero and heroine. Like you, I hope that readers see it as a "good book" and not a "good multicultural book." The caveats are a kind of little death--a ghettoization from which we can't escape. The door to the cannon has been broken down a bit (although some do still cling to their dead white males), and let's keep doing what we can to bust it wide open.

    Oh, and I added your badge to my website, too!

  9. Lisa Myer (@La_Raconteur) September 10, 2012

    One of the (recurring) secondary characters in my series is gay — honestly, I didn't plan it that way. When I first dreamed up this character, I noticed that his quick wit and quirky style of communication reminded me of a legislator I once worked with (said legislator also happens to be gay). I was initially reluctant to go there — especially since my character works in the upper echelons of politics — but then I thought, "Why the heck not?" J'adore "Carlton"; he's the Puck in my Midsummer Night's Dream, the character who brings people together in clever, unobtrusive ways. But the reason I admire him the most is that he loves the people closest to him fiercely and protectively. I will cry, seriously *cry*, if I ever have to change him in any way, shape or form.

  10. Keisha September 10, 2012

    I believe diversity in books makes reading so much more interesting, in my adult novel my main character has a gay best friend and he was inspired by a coworker that is gay and the most amazing, fun person that never fails to make me laugh I don't see labels I see just the personality. As a Child And Youth Worker by day I initiate programs/workshops that focus on awareness of diversity.

  11. Jemi Fraser September 10, 2012

    I've been a teacher for a lot of years. I love your comment about having LGBT & PoC normalized. It's so important in both YA and adult books.

  12. Melissa September 11, 2012

    Congrats on the release. I've seen this genre more and more lately. Its a widely growing area. One I find a little interesting. In some aspects. I find being diverse in writing romance is a terrific thing.

  13. Rebecca Enzor September 12, 2012

    I'm going to buy it on Nook, which won't help your Amazon rating, but at least it's a sale! ;)

    And I promise I won't make you read Nameless again if I win :P

  14. Jo Ramsey September 12, 2012

    Great contest, and great point. In real life, some people are GLBT, some are PoC, some are straight, some are just boring like me... And we all live lives that have nothing to do with those factors. (Except me. That's why I'm boring.) So why should fiction be different?

    I have characters of color in some of my books. I have GLBT characters in a lot of my books. But the books aren't about the characters' skin color or ethnic background, nor are they about the characters' sexuality. (Usually. I do have a coming-out story, er, coming out next year.) We live in a diverse world; books should reflect that, and they shouldn't be pigeonholed because of it.

  15. Emily W. September 13, 2012

    Cool idea, I'll post on my blog, and I think I'll even get the story :)

  16. Nephylim September 14, 2012

    OMG You're my TWIN. I have been RANTING about this for months!!!

    I have always said that my main vision is that one day a gay man or woman can walk into a bookshop and find a book with characters just like them right there with all the other straight characters and not in a little section in a dark corner filled mostly with erotica!!!

    This is my vision and it is SO EXCITING to see someone else has the same one. What a wonderful idea. I will so help promote it.

  17. g. thorne September 21, 2012

    you can check out my novella, THE COST OF OPENING, on Amazon.

    "What do you get when you mix a hardboiled lady detective, a stripper with a cashbox for a heart and a simple magic charm?
    In the city of Arcana you get trouble of the world-shattering, life-eating kind with only one lonely sorceress standing between humanity and oblivion. "

    And you don't have to buy it. LOOK INSIDE lets you sample it for free.

  18. Beth September 26, 2012

    I could not agree more. Thanks! Am boosting the signal as much as I can...

  19. Staci aka Patches September 30, 2012


  20. Julie L Hayes January 7, 2013

    I know I'm beyond late for the contest, but I just had to comment. I discovered this through Nephy's blog, and you are so preaching to the choir! My aim is exactly what you said. To have GLBT books mainstreamed and not relegated to a sad corner of the bookstore. To not be differentiated between "real" love and "glbt" love. Normal and glbt. To get people to understand that GLBT IS normal. I love your sense of humor too. Now I have to check out your book.

    If you're interested in guesting on my blog, let me know. My blog is Full Moon Dreaming. You can email me at

  21. Johna840 July 13, 2014

    Some really quality content on this website , saved to fav. bkedeakgaefc


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