Monday, June 22, 2015

Speedy Rewards VBT


Phil Mitchell pours his heart and soul into his job as manager of Speedy Mart, a local convenience store. He loves his work and he loves his fellow employees, but when it comes to his personal life, Phil is lonely and depressed and still pining for his long-departed ex.

He embarks upon the week from hell where anything that can go wrong does. It begins with a truck crashing into his outdoor sign and only goes downhill from there.

Add an asshole homophobic boss hell bent on seeing him fired and Phil realizes he needs to put into place a plan to save himself and his job.
First step in his plan… do something about his love life.

Meanwhile, Ezra, one of Phil's team members, is dealing with his own roller coaster ride of a week.

As is Brandon, the local cop…

And Mark, the homophobic boss…

Perhaps, with a little… luck, the next week will be better.

Buy Links:
Don’t miss the 1 Year Anniversary 40% off Sale on Wayward Ink’s Publishing’s site!

WIP     |     Amazon US     |     Amazon UK     |     Amazon AU
Amazon DE     |     Barnes & Noble     |     ARe

Though I’ve always been a fan of literature, I’ve never really thought of myself as a great judge of it. I’m not an expert, and I don’t view myself as being qualified to render any sort of reputable critique of which books or authors are the best. I used to co-own a review site and volunteered as a reviewer. Even in that capacity, I simply gave my opinion as to which books I really liked. I wasn’t comfortable sitting in judgment of other writers and critiquing their writing craft skills or analyzing how technically correct their stories had been executed.

There’s something I’ve discovered in recent years, particularly since consumer rating systems emerged on social networks like GoodReads, and on retail sites such as Amazon. The vast majority of people who read don’t judge stories using the same criteria as do the self-appointed literary experts. I guess this reality can be a double edged sword depending upon your perspective.

If you’re of the mindset that writing is a technical skill that should be learned and honed and perfected, and if you’re the type who believes that rules exist for a purpose and should be followed, then public opinion probably means less to you than does an official, erudite critique. The fact that anyone and everyone can now post their rating of a book on GoodReads or elsewhere must drive someone of this mindset insane.

They’re probably also the type who gets irritated when really poorly written books are made into movies or when very talented musical artists are ignored while less-accomplished wannabes skyrocket to stardom. They’re probably infuriated when a high quality piece of literature goes largely unnoticed while a trashy piece of work that’s neither well written nor carefully edited becomes a best seller.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who has always been passionate about reading and have always loved storytelling but you don’t happen to have any formal training, these public platforms could be a godsend. Writers of mm literature, in particular, do not have to hire agents and wait for years to be discovered like authors in the past. They merely submit their stories to publishers who then offer a contract and put the book through a series of edits. It doesn’t matter one iota what any literary expert says. The only thing that really counts is whether or not readers enjoy the story.

And since readers aren’t focused so much on technicalities, they’ll rate books based upon how much they enjoyed the story itself. And with that being said, it’s no surprise that a lot of the more popular authors in our genre are panned for not being “literary” enough, or they’re criticized for breaking too many writing craft rules.

In my case, writing became a passion when I began sharing my fantasies on an amateur website. I knew a lot about grammar and how to diagram sentences but almost nothing about writing craft. The first book I published contained almost every imaginable technical error, and on the rare occasion that a high school English teacher, copy editor, or other such literary expert decided to read my story, they had a field day criticizing it. But the overwhelming majority of readers judged the book by the story itself. For that reason alone, I sold enough books to begin taking my writing a whole lot more seriously.

Since that first book was published six years ago, I’ve learned a lot about technique. I’ve improved, at least in terms of writing craft. I know about point of view, showing versus telling, subtlety of voice, pacing, unpacking verbs, using primarily active verbs, creating realistic dialogue, cadence, and even following the basic story formula within my genre. My vocabulary has expanded. My manuscripts are tighter. I’ve learned a lot of words to avoid or eliminate altogether. Blah, blah, blah… In a nutshell, I’ve become a better writer. Technically.

But you know what else has happened during this period of evolution? I’ve come to realize that all my focus on the mechanics of writing hasn’t really impressed anyone. The one benefit is that I receive fewer negative reviews from the literary know-it-alls. But the average readers, the readers like me, don’t really seem to notice at all.

I’m not saying that I regret devoting effort to improving my craft. I’ll probably always strive to improve. But to those who go around with their nose in the air proud of their fancy fine arts master’s degrees, to those who have a meltdown when an author chooses not to stick strictly to third person limited point of view, to those who pride themselves in being so much better of a writer because they’ve learned to avoid using the adverb “then,” I have a message for you. Your vast, impressive wealth of knowledge and your fastidiousness in following all the rules doesn’t mean a whole lot to anyone but yourself. If you’re incapable of telling a story that touches the heart of your audience, it don’t matter how good you can write.

Book trailer

Trix’s Review:
4 stars

Since I'm sick of seeing billionaire alpha males in every book (I was never a big fan in the first place), I found SPEEDY REWARDS to be a breath of fresh air. There are a lot of characters involved here, but Erno does a great job of developing each one and keeping their plot threads balanced. Since it's the first book in the series, there can be a bit of clunky backstory exposition here and there to save time; luckily, this gets reined in before it becomes too noticeable. (The endings seem a little sudden as well, though the resolutions are satisfying.) Anyone who's wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a convenience store will be riveted by this story (inspired by true events, claims former convenience store manager Erno): it often makes the movie CLERKS look tame by comparison! I'm eager to see where the series goes from here. I have no idea if Erno is planning standalone stories for each volume, but I'd love to see what becomes of these characters!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

SpeedyRewards-smallpreviewJEFF ERNO began writing LGBT fiction in the late 1990s. Although an avid reader and amateur writer from a very young age, Jeff pursued a career as a retail store manager in Northern Michigan. When his first gay-themed novel was published, he was shocked that anyone would even want to read it. So far, he's published over thirty novels. Jeff lives in Southern Michigan, where he works part time at a convenience store.

Jeff's writing credits include a variety of themes and sub-genres including male romance, Young Adult, Science Fiction, erotica, and BDSM. He is the winner of a 2012 Rainbow Award and an Honorable Mention in 2011. His style is unpretentious and focused upon emotionally-driven, character-based stories that touch the heart. Jeff is especially passionate about young adult literature and combating teen bullying and youth suicide.


No comments:

Post a Comment