One More Solution To The Cast Of Thousands Problem

By Cynthia Sax on January 20, 2017

A popular Romance writing guideline, I try to follow, is to reduce the number of minor characters in a scene as much as possible. Every minor character takes page time away from the romantic couple (or more). He/she shifts the reader’s focus from them permanently. For the rest of the story, the reader has to remember this minor character.

Reducing the number of minor characters isn’t always possible. In Hers To Command, the heroine is a battle station Commander. She works with over a dozen direct reports (her Officers). I wanted to show her in this role, in charge, in her realm of power. That meant interacting with these minor characters. It would look bizarre if she strolled onto the bridge and was completely alone. (grins)

When I wrote the first draft, I gave all of these direct reports first and last names. They also had positions, which I often linked to these names to clarify what they did. It became an unwieldy mess. Halfway through writing the story, I was completely confused.

That got me thinking… if I’m confused, what is the Commander feeling? She’s often in high stress situations, battles to the death. Every moment counts. When she gives an order, she can’t issue it to the wrong being.

At the beginning of the story, she’s also on the losing side of the war. There’s constant turnover in her personnel because not everyone survives every battle. She has to learn names again and again, which would increase the risk of getting names wrong.

The solution I derived was to refer to all of her direct reports by their position only.

Here is a snippet from the story…

***

“Do you detect any activity, First?” Carys knew the female’s name, knew which small planet her officer had originated from, knew she had lost her mother, father, two sisters and two brothers in a Humanoid Alliance attack.

But she never used her first officer’s name. Carys had made that mistake once, solar cycles ago, when she was a warship captain.

Beings died in war. That was the unfortunate reality. Her officers were constantly changing, the dead being replaced with the living.

During an attack, she’d referred to her weapons officer by his predecessor’s name. The correction and the delay it had caused, slight yet significant, had resulted in a crew member’s death.

From that moment onward, she referred to beings by their position, by their function. That policy appeared cold and impersonal to outsiders. Carys didn’t care. She was interested in ending a war, not winning a popularity contest.

***

Looking at the cast of thousands issue from the main character’s point of view might give you solutions you haven’t yet considered. Hey, it worked for me. (grins)

How have you solved this common problem?

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | No Comments »

Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, And Losing A Child

By Cynthia Sax on January 18, 2017

Carrie Fisher, our beloved Princess Leia, died on December 27th. Many people were shocked when Debbie Reynolds, her Mom, died a day later.

My own Dear Wonderful Mom, sadly, understood why that happened.

You see… my Dear Wonderful Mom has also lost a child. She knows what that does to a Mom, the toll it takes on a person. Although they were physically far apart, had never met each other, my Mom felt emotionally close to Debbie Reynolds. She shared the star’s grief.

My tough-as-beans Mom has survived many traumatic things in her life but, hands down, she’ll tell you, the worst thing was my brother dying (my middle of three brothers). I remember flying home for the funeral and barely recognizing her. Her hair had turned white. Lines had appeared on her normally smiling face. My Mom looked like she had aged a decade overnight.

She kept repeating over and over that it wasn’t natural. She was supposed to go first. No Mother should ever outlive her child.

That death changed her forever.

I was thinking of my Dear Wonderful Mom when I wrote Hers To Command. The Commander, Carys, has also lost a child. Twenty-two solar cycles (years) later, she continues to grieve. She thinks of her daughter every planet rotation (day). She feels sorrow, guilt, anger, worries about forgetting her child.

Those are my Mom’s emotions. It has been over two decades since my brother’s death and she still experiences all of those same feelings. They’re more manageable now but they exist.

She wonders if she could have done or said something that would have saved my brother. She sees something that reminds her of him (like anything to do with Star Wars) and cries. There’s always an empty seat at my Mom’s table over the holidays for my brother. We all know not to sit there. She buys an angel ornament for the tree on his behalf. I call her on my brother’s birthday because I know she needs someone to talk to, someone who will understand why these feelings remain, someone who won’t tell her to ‘get over it.’

Carys’ feelings are based on my Mom’s. If you’ve lost a child (big hugs), these might not be your feelings and that’s okay. We all love and grieve differently. But I wanted to share that if you’re still grieving twenty years plus later, that’s also okay. If you worry about forgetting your child, that worry is okay too.

I doubt you will ever forget your child. My Mom is reminded of my brother every day. And I doubt you will ever ‘get over it’ and return to the person you were before your child’s passing. It has changed you just like loving him or her changed you. That’s okay also.

If you’ve lost a child (gives you another big hug), I strongly suggest you read Hers To Command in private. I would completely understand if you saved the story to read when you feel up to it, when you need to cry, when you need to know you’re not alone in your grief. Please don’t read the reviews. As my Dear Wonderful Mom will tell you, there are some people who just don’t understand what you’re going through. Know, however, that there are people who DO.

You are not alone.

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Hers To Command – First Scene

By Cynthia Sax on January 16, 2017

Hers To Command, the next story in the cyborg series, is releasing February 14th (yes, Valentine’s Day). It is available for pre-order now. I’ll be sharing the first chapter over the next few weeks.

***

Chapter One

Carys was tired, emotionally and physically.

She’d joined the Rebels twenty-two solar cycles ago, at the beginning of the rebellion against the Humanoid Alliance, and had worked her way up the ranks. Now she was commander of a massive battle station, responsible for thousands of beings.

Having just worked three shifts in a row, exhaustion had caught up to her.

Squinting at the main viewscreen, she tried to focus her eyes. The battle station was in open space. There wasn’t a planet or another vessel nearby. She dropped her gaze to her control panel. There had been a slight malfunction a few moments ago, but all of the systems were now working properly.

The battle station was as serene as a massive vessel could be.

Her first officer wiggled in the chair beside hers. Her protégé was eager to take the helm. She was young, aggressive, relished a challenge, and was hungry for a ship of her own.

The human female would have to wait. The battle station belonged to Carys. She’d earned it, would keep it.

“Do you detect any activity, First?” Carys knew the female’s name, knew which small planet her officer had originated from, knew she had lost her mother, father, two sisters and two brothers in a Humanoid Alliance attack.

But she never used her first officer’s name. Carys had made that mistake once, solar cycles ago, when she was a warship captain.

Beings died in war. That was the unfortunate reality. Her officers were constantly changing, the dead being replaced with the living.

During an attack, she’d referred to her weapons officer by his predecessor’s name. The correction and the delay it had caused, slight yet significant, had resulted in a crew member’s death.

From that moment onward, she referred to beings by their position, by their function. That policy appeared cold and impersonal to outsiders. Carys didn’t care. She was interested in ending a war, not winning a popularity contest.

“There’s no unusual activity, Commander,” her first officer reported.

“Then you have the bridge, First.” Carys stood.

Her first officer jumped to her feet.

Carys suppressed her smile. Her exhaustion made one being happy.

She glanced around her one more time, assuring all was calm, and exited the bridge.

Beings snapped to attention as she marched along the corridors. Male, female, undefined gender, human, Palavian, Tau Cetian, Dracheon, others, watched her, their leader. If the beings were competent and added value, she didn’t care what else they were. They were welcome on her battle station.

“Commander.” Her space traffic officer, an overly intense Ungarian male, rushed toward her, his blue-furred face damp with perspiration. “I verified that no unauthorized beings have accessed the battle station through the docking bay.”

She continued walking, not at all reassured. He’d given her the same update five planet rotations ago and they’d ended the shift with one missing medic, a docking bay filled with dead bodies, and no suspects.

It was strange. The space had been monitored. She’d reviewed the footage. But there hadn’t been one image of the shooter…or shooters. There hadn’t been any records of ships that hadn’t belonged there.

Requiring guidance, she’d relayed the situation to the Rebel Assembly. Her superiors hadn’t given her any additional insights. Instead, they’d questioned her competence, chiding her for her lack of knowledge. A commander should be aware of everything that happened on her battle station.

She wanted to blame the space traffic officer for that criticism. Judging by the corpses, the killer or killers had entered through his domain, yet he’d been oblivious of what was happening.

But she couldn’t do that. The Assembly was right. She was the commander. The battle station was her responsibility.

The space traffic officer trailed her, giving her an update she half listened to. Her weary mind dwelled on the attack. She didn’t like unanswered questions and it continued to bother her. There was something she was missing. She felt that truth.

Two massive males, taller and broader than any she’d met, entered the corridor, diverting her attention. They were clad in form-fitting black body armor, the garments decorated with daggers, guns and other weapons.

The males were warriors. Carys’ nipples tightened and her pussy grew wet. She couldn’t remember the last time she reacted physically to any being. She’d thought that part of her lifespan was over, decimated by the war, by responsibility.

They strode toward her, their shoulders broad, their hips narrow, the muscles on their chests, arms, and legs defined.

Her head tilted back. The warriors had a similar look, both had closely cropped brown hair, golden skin, their features strong, stark. One black mark was slashed across each cheek, accentuating their primitive appearance.

As they neared her, their gazes fixed on her face. One male had brown eyes, dark and intense. The other had blue eyes, sparkling with humor, with life, belying his blank expression.

She didn’t recognize either of them. That wasn’t surprising. They’d lost quite a few beings in the last clash with the Humanoid Alliance and she hadn’t yet met all of their replacements.

The battle station’s ranks had also swelled since the Retrievers, the Humanoid Alliance’s bounty hunters, had revolted. Beings had less fear of being recovered once they rebelled.

Her gaze drifted over the males. They were formidable. She was glad these two warriors were on her side of the war.

***

Read the next scene here (available January 23rd): http://tasteofcyn.com/2017/01/23/hers-to-command-second-scene/

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Retiring Stories

By Cynthia Sax on January 12, 2017

On December 31st, two major writing-related things happened for me. First, ARe (All Romance eBooks) went out of business. Second, I received all of my rights back from Ellora’s Cave (which has also, sort of, kind of, went out of business).

What this means is some older Cynthia Sax stories have disappeared from booksellers. The cyborg stories are still there. (grins) Don’t worry about them. They’re not going anywhere. But my older SciFi Romance stories (and one more recent contemporary story) have disappeared.

Some of these stories will be retired. Why? Because these series have long been completed and I’ve become more skilled as a writer. Rewriting these stories would take as long as writing a new story. I might as well write another cyborg story for you.

As of today, I only have plans to rewrite one of the series – the Warlord SciFi Romance series (Warlord’s Bounty, Warlord Unarmed, Warlord Reunited and Warlord’s Mercy). I will be expanding these stories to novel length (i.e. doubling their length) and tweaking them to be set in the same world as the cyborg series. I hope to start re-releasing these stories in June.

The plots and characters in these novels will be very similar to those in the novellas. Should you rebuy them? I wouldn’t. (laughs) Yeah, it would be more financially savvy of me not to tell you that but you’ll always get the truth from me.

If you already own these stories, save your cash for the brand new stories. If you haven’t read these stories, you’re in for a treat. I’m re-releasing them because I love them.

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Pre-orders At ARe

By Cynthia Sax on January 11, 2017

ARe (All Romance eBooks) went out of business on December 31st. If you pre-ordered Hers To Command (releasing in February) from ARe and did not get a reimbursement for that pre-order, please contact me and I’ll make it right for you.

(big hugs)

You don’t ever have to worry about taking a risk with a Cynthia Sax book (purchased from a legitimate bookseller). If you’re ever dissatisfied, send me an email at CynthiaSax (at) YMail (dot) com . I’ll take care of you!

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Coming Soon | No Comments »

Happy New Year!

By Cynthia Sax on December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Wishing a 2017 filled with love, laughter and some great books!

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herstocommand-2178067-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Guest Post | No Comments »

Pushing Boundaries With Your Writing

By Cynthia Sax on December 28, 2016

One of my mottos is… “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” I believe in pushing boundaries with my writing, trying things I haven’t yet tried, writing stories I haven’t seen available for sale.

Knowing Where The Boundaries Are

What ARE the boundaries?

The booksellers have boundaries. For example, many state there are to be no child abuse, incest, rape or bestiality (excluding shifters) scenes depicted as ‘sexy times’ (i.e. the goal isn’t to be sexual gratification). Be especially careful of these boundaries if you write erotic. The more explicit the scene, the greater the chances the book will be removed.

Many boundary-pushing writers cite Lolita as a book that is taboo yet sold at booksellers. Vladimir Nabokov was never graphic in his language. He uses imagery heavily. I think this is what makes this story allowable. The booksellers view the story as artistic, not pornographic.

Genres, subgenres and niches also have boundaries. Some boundaries are ‘hard’. The definition of romance is a romantic happy ever after or happy for now ending. Kill the hero and your story is no longer a romance. Some boundaries are ‘soft’. A hero, for example, usually only kills good guys on the page.

One of the reasons writers advise newer writers to read is because that’s a great way to learn where the boundaries are. If no one cusses in any of the Inspirational Historical Romances you read, for example, you know cussing might be taboo for that niche.

I normally write balls to the wall during the first draft and then self-censor (or not!) during the subsequent drafts.

Crossing a boundary at the publishing stage should be a conscious decision.

Why?

Because crossing boundaries can have consequences.

The Risks Of Crossing A Boundary

The boundaries are there for a reason. Someone, either the reader or the bookseller, likes having them in place. Cross a boundary and you’ll upset someone. Cross multiple boundaries in one story and you might upset everyone.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But we should know the possible downsides.

When I Indie published Releasing Rage, I knew I was taking a chance not only with readers but also with booksellers. Bad things happen to the heroine. Even though these bad things happen off page and are clearly depicted as an act of violence, not titillation, the booksellers could have removed the story. They have that right. It is clearly stated in their terms of service.

I took that risk. The booksellers didn’t remove the story. I’m certain it was reported. I’m certain someone at Amazon reviewed the story. They must have decided the scene was acceptable.

Other buddies have had to remove offending scenes or craft new covers or change book descriptions or remove tags. Their stories were temporarily removed until they were deemed compliant. In some cases, there was no tweaking the stories to satisfy the booksellers. Perhaps the stories centered around the offending action. The writers either decided to publish it on another platform (marketing it as ‘too hot for XXX bookseller’) or they shelved the stories.

If your story pushes bookseller boundaries, assume it will be reported and evaluated. The better your sales, the quicker your story will be reported.

You will also receive 1 star reviews and angry messages from readers. I received plenty of both for Releasing Rage. I saw them as confirmation I was doing something different in the cyborg space.

The Upside

There are some glorious upsides to pushing boundaries. It is artistically freeing to write our stories exactly the way we want to write them. We have the excitement of being first. Hopefully, some readers will love it.

For a short time (a day or two or sometimes more), we’ll have the only story in that space, have zero competition. We’re doing something different and that is likely to be discussed with bloggers and reviewers, giving the book some much needed promo.

Many breakout books push boundaries in some way. Life is too short to play it safe. (grins)

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herstocommand-2178067-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | No Comments »

Merry Christmas!

By Cynthia Sax on December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates!

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herstocommand-2178067-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Guest Post | No Comments »

Comparing Ourselves To Other Writers

By Cynthia Sax on December 21, 2016

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, to reassure ourselves that we’re ‘normal’ (whatever that is – grins). Many writers will tell you not to do that. They’ll point out that comparing yourself to other writers will cause you unhappiness.

I’m not going to tell you that. I think it’s impossible to stop comparing ourselves to others. It would also be hypocritical of me because I compare myself to other writers ALL THE TIME.

I AM going to tell you that you shouldn’t feel bad after the comparison.

Why?

Because you don’t know the entire story.

The Successful First Time Writer

This is the comparison that would bother me the most.

Years ago, a writer released her first book, coming out of nowhere. She sold a gazillion copies, was beloved by (almost) every reviewer in Romanceland.

I had 50 plus releases and was still struggling for my first 100 readers. I wouldn’t have received media attention if I had set myself on fire.

Then I found out… that ‘first time writer?’ She was a HUGE bestselling writer secretly trying out a new subgenre under another pen name. She had over 30,000 newsletter subscribers, which she leveraged for that release (putting an ad in her own newsletter). She knew and was liked by almost everyone in the business (including myself).

E.L. James, another bestselling first time writer? She had TV experience, had brilliantly leveraged the fanfic community, is a savvy marketer.

Luck is almost always an element in every writer’s success but, time after time, when I delved into backgrounds, there was usually something else, something I might or might not have been able to duplicate.

What IS Success?

Then there’s the discussion around what success truly is. Is it hitting the bestseller lists? Is it being beloved by reviewers? Is it having the largest readership? Is it making a great income?

Often these definitions of success don’t co-exist.

When I first started, I thought every writer on the bestseller lists (USA Today or New York Times) was making six figures. (grins) Yes, stop laughing.

Sometimes (rarely), that’s true. Often it’s not. I’ve hit the USA Today Bestseller List twice. Both times, my earnings didn’t cover my costs. You read that correctly. I hit the lists and lost money.

I know writers with New York Bestseller above their name who can’t cover their writing costs. And I know writers who have never made a list and they quietly sell a steady number of books each and every day. Those sales add up to an almost obscene income.

Some of the bestselling writers aren’t the darlings of the influential reviewers. Some of the writers with the highest incomes don’t have the largest readerships.

We can’t determine this by glancing at the lists or rankings or bios.

This is true of other goals also, including word counts. I write 2,500 fresh words a day but I require 12 drafts. My buddy writes 500 fresh words a day but she requires 1 draft. Word count alone isn’t an indication of a successful day writing.

Why Compare Ourselves To Other Writers?

If we never see the entire picture, why compare ourselves at all?

First, I don’t think we can stop comparing ourselves to others. I certainly can’t.

Second, sometimes when I delve deeper into successes, I learn tactics I can use with my own career. Writers, especially in Romanceland, are often open about what they think contributed to their successes. Maybe there was a change at a bookseller I didn’t know about. Maybe there was a promotion I hadn’t considered. Maybe there was a trend I wasn’t aware of.

Compare yourself to other writers but, keep in mind, you don’t know the entire story.

You Are Someone Else’s Success

And keep in mind that someone is comparing herself to you.

One of my sisters is a reader only. She has always envied my ability to write, even when that writing was done in a lemon-scent diary. When I was writing part-time, I envied anyone who finished stories. When I finished my first story, I envied anyone who received a request from a publisher or agent.

There is someone in Romanceland who considers you a success. She’s comparing herself to YOU. Remember that when you’re comparing yourself to another writer.

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herstocommand-2178067-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | 1 Comment »

Hers To Command Is MMF – What Does That Mean?

By Cynthia Sax on December 16, 2016

Hers To Command, my February release, is a MMF cyborg story. It is a ménage (a threesome) with two male cyborgs (Ace and Thrasher) and a female human Commander (Carys).

MMF means the two males have a physical relationship. (If the story was MFM, that would mean the heroes only had a physical relationship with the heroine. She divides them in the sleeping chamber.)

Ace and Thrasher first appeared in Breathing Vapor and it was clear even then that their relationship was closer than that of mere brethren. Some reading buddies have asked me why they needed a female in the mix.

A third being was needed to stabilize their relationship. Without Carys, it doesn’t work, not well.

Why?

Because cyborgs are part human, part machine and Ace and Thrasher are at opposite ends of that spectrum. Ace is more machinelike. He bases his decisions on logic. Thrasher is more humanlike. He bases his decisions on emotion, on gut instinct. They argue constantly because they don’t speak the same language.

Carys, a brilliant leader, is the perfect translator. She’s well versed in communication and takes command of their relationship.

Here’s a snippet…

***

Thrasher placed his hand on top of Ace’s. “I don’t consider us to be defective.”

“We are defective and don’t touch me.” Ace pulled his hand away. “Focus on our Commander.”

Someone was in denial about his feelings. Carys watched the interchange with interest. Is that why Ace considered himself defective—because he desired the other male? “Your Commander wants to kiss both of you.”

Ace covered her lips with his.

She drew back, breaking the embrace. “No. I want to kiss both of you. Keep your mouth slightly open. Allow Thrasher to join us.”

She kissed him, demonstrating, leaving space for the other warrior. Thrasher, the more fearless of the two, filled that space.

Ace’s body twitched. She petted his cheek, soothing him, reassuring her cautious warrior that this was what she wanted, what they all needed.

Lips pressed against lips. Tongues tumbled with tongues. Some might view what they were doing as unnatural. It felt right to Carys.

***

Carys isn’t an add-on to their relationship. She’s an essential component. I doubt Ace and Thrasher would have ever kissed without her involvement. They also desire her as much as they desire each other.

Hers To Command is my only planned ménage in the cyborg series. All of the other stories will likely be MF couples. Ace, Thrasher and Carys’ story is truly unique and I was thrilled to write it.

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herstocommand-2178067-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Coming Soon | 1 Comment »

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