Saturday, August 17, 2013

Welcome Renee Stevens and a Giveaway!

Hey guys! Come on in, find a seat, and grab a neat looking drink lol. Today Renee is visiting me. I met her a while back through Cia when I was still writing on Lit. Later on in the post she'll tell you how to enter her giveaway. :)

One of the things I get asked quite often is how I feel about feedback.  Personally, I love getting asked this question and I know that different authors look at this different ways.  Personally, I love to hear exactly what my readers think, both the good and the bad.  The only thing I ask is that if a reader is going to criticize my writing, that they make that criticism constructive. 

I fully understand that not everyone is going to enjoy my work.  Perhaps my writing style just isn’t a reader’s cup of tea and that’s fine, but if there was something specific that my readers didn’t like, I’d love to know.  Perhaps they didn’t think my characters were believable.  Rather than just tell me that they weren’t believable, I’d love to know why.  What about them made it difficult to connect with?  Perhaps the reader felt the plot needed some work?  What could have been improved in their opinion?  Did they feel parts were too hurried?  Were there parts that dragged on for too long?  What, in the readers opinion, could have been done to improve the overall story? These are things that can help me improve in either future stories or if I decide to go back and revise the story that is being discussed.  While I may not always agree, these are things that can help me ultimately improve.

Expanding on a reader’s opinion doesn’t just apply when dealing with criticism.  When a reader enjoys a story, I’d also love to know what they enjoyed about it.  What about the characters really called to them?  Was there a specific scene that really pulled them into the story or was it a combination of scenes?  What was it about the plot that they really felt worked? 

While “I loved this” reviews are great to get, they really don’t tell me what I’m doing right just as “This story sucked” reviews don’t tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I need to improve on.  As an author, I am always trying to learn and grow.  I strive to improve with each story that I release to my readers and the only way I can do that is to know what I am doing that works and what I am doing that doesn’t. 

With that being said, I invite all of my readers, whether they are reading a published book or a free online story to contact me.  Sometimes it may take time for me to reply, but I always reply to my readers.  If you have something you feel I should know regarding my stories, drop me a line, I’m more than happy to hear from you and there are multiple ways to get in touch with me! 

GayAuthors: Renee Stevens

Twitter: @Renee_Stevens

Facebook: Renee Stevens

Now for the giveaway!  Leave a comment on this blog, and your email, to enter for a chance to win a copy of my eBook!  Comments can be left through Monday, August 19th, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday in the Wednesday Briefs post.  All commenters will also be entered for a chance to win either a $10 Amazon gift card or a $10 Gay Authors Gift Voucher to be given away at the end of the month on my own blog, Nature of the Heart!


Cyan waited years to discover what dragon spirit the fates gifted him with. He anticipated his first flight, his parents at his side, as he launched himself into the sky for the first time. Best of all, one day he'd find his mate and spend the rest of his life with someone by his side. Unfortunately for him, things didn't go exactly as he'd always planned.



Cyan gracefully turned to study the world below him. He was lost in the beauty of his clan's land when he caught the sound of wings close by. Before he could turn, something large slammed into him from behind spinning him out of position. As he fought to regain control of the air current he caught a blur of movement out of the corner of his eye as another dragon slammed into him from the side. He roared in pain and anger as the two dragons attacked him. He turned to defend himself just in time to dodge the second attack from the Red he had been watching earlier.

Cyan hovered in the sky as the two dragons kept coming at him, trying to slice open his underbelly with their sharp curved claws.  He knew he couldn’t fight them both; he was already getting tired just dodging their attacks.  He flipped around so that he was facing the ground and tucked his wings close to his body, diving towards the earth far below.  He could hear them following and barely managed to keep a few lengths ahead as they freefell towards the tree covered hills.  Fear urged him on and he could feel his dragon’s desire to face the fight but he ignored it.  He wouldn’t let the stories about him become true, no matter what the cost was to himself. 

He waited until he was in danger of crashing into the treetops before he opened his wings and curved his body, sending him gliding across the top of the canopy before rising back into the sky.  Cyan heard the crash and the sounds of branches snapping and looked behind him, unable to pull his gaze away from the scene unfolding below.  The Red hadn’t managed to pull up in time and had slammed through the leaves and branches to land in a heap on the forest floor.

He craned his neck trying to see the other dragon, but it was nowhere in sight.  He halted his ascent and turned, using his wings to keep him hovering in the sky.  Even with his enhanced vision, he could barely make out the Red as it shifted into its human form to reveal his childhood friend, Silas.  Cyan screamed in pain at the sight of his friend’s crumpled form, the guttural roar echoing across the sky.  He fought the urge to go help Silas and watched as his mate, Neesa, rushed out of the trees and crouched at his side.

It wasn’t the first time he’d been attacked by someone wanting to drive him from the area, it was actually something he was used to.  If it had been anybody but Silas he probably could have shrugged it off, but knowing he’d caused a one-time friend to be injured made an agonizing pain blossom in his chest.  It felt like a fist had been shoved into his chest and was in the process of squeezing the life out of him. 

Cyan knew this wouldn’t be the last time he was forced to defend himself and realized that it was time; he couldn’t bring himself to fight those he had grown up with any longer.  He had to do what he had been putting off for well over a year.  He had known he would eventually have to leave the clan’s lands behind and had already searched out a place, totally isolated and free of other shifters. 

He should have left long ago, but he’d kept hoping that things would change.  That the clan would see that he posed no danger to them and would welcome him back with open arms.  A childish fantasy maybe, but one that he clung to as though his very life depended on it. The grip on his heart tightened and he fought back tears as he turned his back on the scene below and headed east to start a new life.  A new life where he wasn’t constantly looking over his shoulder and fighting to stay alive because of someone’s unfounded fear that he would lose all shreds of sanity.

Available For Sale At:


For more chances to win the gift cards and a copy of my eBook if you don't win here, join us for the rest of the giveaway tour on the following dates!!

August 24th: The Land of Make Believe "Challenging Fate eBook Giveaway"

 August 31st: Nature of the Heart Amazon Gift Card & Gift Voucher Giveaway



Renee Stevens resides in Wyoming with her husband, and while they have no two-legged kids, they have plenty of the four legged variety.  With three canines and three felines, her life is never boring.  When not sitting in front of her laptop working on her next story, Renee prefers to escape to the great outdoors.

Renee began writing in her early teens but didn’t get serious about being an author until her mid-twenties.  Since then she has written a number of stories, most of which can be found online for free.  She hopes to e-publish a few more of her works in the very near future.

While she does have some modern pieces, her favorite characters to work with are shifters and vampires.  When not writing, camping, or refereeing the critters, Renee spends her time as a Moderator and the Anthology Coordinator over at