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Eden Butler

Dream big. Work harder.

Chasing Serenity Flash Giveaway!

Here’s your chance to win a free e-book copy of “Chasing Serenity” OR to get a brand new, never seen by any other eyes, sneak peek of the Declan/Autumn novella, “Behind the Pitch.” Register in the comments below by saying “count me in” OR head on over to my Facebook Author page.

HURRY!! Giveaway ends 11/1/13 at MIDNIGHT!! Spread the word!!!

FLASH GIVEAWAY

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The Story and the Hopeful Heart

It’s a weird little thing, being a writer.

Our abilities, our experiences as creative people all culminate in the exchange of ideas and notions meant to enable us. We learn from our mistakes. We navigate life with the gift of observance that trickles onto our work, into every aspect of who we become.

We think we know so much, but time has a specific way of making what we think we know very trivial and utterly wrong.

So, we write and experience and learn that our realities aren’t ours at all. They become the result of lessons, of mistakes, of the blatant refusal and eventual acceptance that we have no idea what we’re doing.

I used to believe that writing a great story meant writing something profound, perhaps something life altering. You want to impact change. You want to be the cleverest, the most sincere, the most respected. But over time, it comes down to the story. It comes down to the bits and pieces of life, of all our lives, that are as different and unique as the individuals living those stories. Art is meant to hold a mirror up to life. We’re meant to replicate what we feel and experience ourselves.  Part of that is expressing all aspects of the human condition. We are not inanimate objects. We are not mere observers. We love and lose. We cry, we mourn. We suffer, we argue, we let emotions and drama and complete ridiculousness overtake our good sense.

We write the story. We live the story. We are the story.

Then why is it deemed arbitrary or saccharine when those stories are good and happy and filled with passion and love and all those wonderfully horribly, brilliantly emotional aspects of the messiness of life?

So, tell the story you want. Write about dragons and knights and aliens and lovers and sex and tears and loss and all the beautiful disasters that make up your own story.

It’s what I’ve been trying to do.

I’ve been writing a story about a girl who has been loved. Who has been betrayed. Who has been shown the bright beacon of hope and had it yanked from her grasp time and time again. She’s not complicated. She’s the every girl. She’s not trivial. She is genuine. And, in my story, she falls in love. She challenges herself. She wants to get back to the serenity she once owned.

She fails. She tries again and what is left, is her surrender to what she cannot control.

What is left, is her story.

So, I’m about to set forth down a long, crowded hallway. I am walking naked, letting the world see all the scars and bruises and insecurities life has left over my body. I’m parading every flaw, every dank, dirty little secret. It is terrifying. It is exhilarating.

It is who I am. Right now. Today.

This is the story I needed to tell.

I hope you like it and even if you don’t, I hope you’ll appreciate that it came from the heart…from this battered, hopeful, still learning heart.

Title: Chasing SerenityCHASING SERENITY COVER FINAL
Series: Seeking Serenity series, Book #1
Eden Butler
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Cover Designed by: Steven Novak
Cover Reveal Organized by As the Pages Turn 

Graduate student Autumn McShane has had her share of heartbreak. She’s been abandoned and betrayed and she lost her beloved mother in a tragic car accident five months ago. That loss damaged her body and fractured her spirit but she’s learning to recover both until her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend returns to town, intent on making her life miserable.

Declan Fraser hates her ex as much as Autumn does, but the last thing she needs is to put her trust in the hands of another man, especially one like Declan: his hard body and lulling Irish accent makes more than few girls weak-kneed. The talented rugby player is rude and sarcastic, with tattooed, muscular arms and a cocky attitude, but he’s the only one who can help Autumn win an ill-advised bet that, if lost, could cost her more than she’s willing to pay. The reluctant alliance between Declan and Autumn stirs up cravings she doesn’t want to admit, but Declan is a hard man to resist.

Just when Autumn starts letting down her carefully constructed walls to the sexy bad boy, he betrays her in her moment of greatest need. Autumn suspects Declan has dark secrets, and she is determined to uncover what drove him away from her, even if that means fraternizing with the enemy. But will the truth return Declan to her arms or add to the scars on her heart?

Excerpt

My mother’s skin is pale. No steady thump moves the pulse in her neck, no awareness flickers in her eyes as she stares at me. There is nothing there. She is motionless, inert.

This can’t be real.

Glass is fractured all around us, stained red with our blood, and my jeans are soaked from the torrential rain that beats against the car, through the broken windshield. I can’t stop the shaking of my limbs, the shiver of cold that has nothing to do with the temperature. Mom’s face is splotched with that same red color; thick trails of blood leak from her nose and mouth. Her hands are fractured. There are breaks that twist and bend the joints, the bones, and in the stillness of the car, against the intermittent flashes from the lightening above, I notice that my hands are like hers, except where hers are battered and bloody, mine are clean. Strange that my mind can process that we share the same thin knuckles, the same translucent skin, identical ridges that tapper at the wrist. I try to reach for her, to close her eyes, but something is piercing me and it traps me to the seat.

“Mom?” I know she won’t answer. I’ve screamed my voice raw over the past hour trying to get her to respond.

Above the din of racking rain and the drumming pulse of vicious thunder, I hear sirens, but I know that it is pointless. They’ve come too late. She is gone. I am going. My vision blurs and I can only manage to look at her, to take in the dull white in her eyes and the pallid color of her lips.

“Mom, please.” The words come out in a whisper and my head swims with a dizzy cluster of swaying vision. I am floating, falling, but I train my eyes onto her face, a tether to this life, as fleeting as it is. I try again to reach her, but I am met with resistance, some sharp unknowable thing that doesn’t allow me to move. I am helpless here, something I have always made a point to never be. But I cannot rescue her. I can’t manage to even move an inch, to touch her face, to say goodbye.

My mind surfs with desperate thoughts, impossible hopes, until the scatter of images lands on our family, years before, when we were whole, when my parents loved each other, when my father wasn’t a coward. His voice rings in my ears, him singing something old, something very Irish, and I allow myself a smile. I forget the heartbreak he caused. I forget the loneliness in our too big home, how my mother’s smile was never quite the same. The bitterness that I’ve held so near to me, so certain and full next to my heart, slips away like an unintentional whisper and I rest my head back, my eyes still trained on her face. The sounds of storms and sirens around me evaporate and I listen to my father’s voice. It is soft, like a feather, and certain like the force of a windstorm.

“Autumn my love, this song is for you.”

I close my eyes as the phantom of my father sings me into silence, into calm, into the oblivion I know is waiting.

Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the Photo Eden4nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” will launch October 2013.

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football. You can find Eden on GoodReadsFacebook and Twitter

The Best Words in the English Language (To a Writer Anyway)

The End

Manuscript is DONE. Edits made. Post Edits made. Formatting somewhat fixed and now she’s off in the hands of my capable editor.

I want to run and jump and dance and squee.  I also sort of want to vomit. Mainly, I want to sleep.

Dear God. I hope it doesn’t suck.

*twirls you all*

Oh my goodness! A blog tour…already??

From the lovely Ing of As the Pages Turn:shock

ATTN BLOGGERS: Would love for you all to join me on this tour! Click the link below and see if it’s something you are interested in. I’m excited about this one. The author gave me peek at a scene and OMG. Hero is Irish and a rugby player! Yes please!

Title: Chasing Serenity
Series: Book 1, Seeking Serenity series
Author: Eden Butler
Expected Release Date: 10/15/2013

Book Blurb:

Graduate student Autumn McShane isn’t having the best year. More than her body was damaged in the horrific car crash that killed her mother five months ago. Her spirit was fractured as well. To complicate matters, her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend has returned to town and seems intent on making her life miserable.

Declan Fraser hates her ex as much as Autumn does, but the last thing she needs is to put her life in the hands of another man, especially one as compelling as Declan. His hard body and lulling Irish accent makes more than a few girls weak-kneed. The talented rugby player is rude and sarcastic, with tattooed, muscular arms that Autumn thinks about far too often, but he’s the only one who can help her win a bet that could cost her more than she’s willing to pay. The reluctant alliance between them stirs up cravings that Autumn doesn’t want to admit to, but Declan is a hard man to resist.

Just when she starts letting down all her carefully constructed walls to the sexy bad boy, he betrays her at a moment she needs him most. Autumn suspects Declan has dark secrets, and she is determined to uncover what drove him away from her, even if that means fraternizing with the enemy. But will the truth return Declan to her arms or add to the scars on her heart?

 

You guys! This is really happening! I’m so nervous and excited and really nervous!!

Things I’ve Learned So Far…

In college, our creative writing professor told us that writing is 100% hard work. I’d add to that by saying it’s 100% rewriting.thumper

I’ve been diligently working on this manuscript. I took a vacation last week to spend time getting through this most latest version (#3 or 4, I can’t really remember) and in the process, I’ve learned a few things.

1. Making little notes like “and here you end the scene” really isn’t helpful during the first draft. Well. It’s helpful as you are writing the first draft, not so much in later drafts.

2. Bursts of inspiration can bit you in the ass. Going through my first draft, I whizzed through scenes, skimped on details and glossed over setting. I know writing is rewriting, but I want to kick my June self for making me do all the hard work.

3. The internet is the devil. I don’t just mean that it’s a time waster. We all know it is. I just mean that if I have plans to get some serious writing done, reading about deaths and sexism and racism and annoying political stupidity really doesn’t engender a great mindset. In fact, it only depresses me and since I’m writing about love and laughter and the struggle to find yourself, a mopey little emo mood doesn’t help. Also? DAMN people are mean. It staggers me how cruel some folks can be.

Take some advice, mean people of the word: “if you don’t have something nice to say…” you know the rest.

4. I’m in love with a fictional character of my own making. He may not be perfect, but I adore him. I hope you will too!

Be good to each other, folks!

That Awkward Moment…

That awkward moment when you’re five chapters into the second draft of your WIP and realize one character’s history needs to change. And it significantly impacts THE ENTIRE BLOODY PLOT.

Sigh.

So, rewrites here I go. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS.

Want a sneak peek? Okay, since you asked so nicely…

 

“I did kiss you.” Declan takes a slow step in my direction, his eyes narrowed into slits as he stares down at me. There is a crinkle of electricity in that stare and I feel my throat constrict. “Drunk as I was, I could tell you liked it. You weren’t all frigid, not for the whole of it. I felt your…a…” he looks down at my chest and his eyes linger between my two top buttons, “bits that were keen.”

I pause for a beat, measuring his expression to determine whether or not he’s serious. Declan wets his bottom lip and I can do nothing but laugh. I didn’t realize men were really this obnoxious. He doesn’t seem to like my reaction. His face hardens, becomes guarded and severe and his cheeks grow an even deeper shade of pink.

“You think you rocked my world?”

“I did in fact, I’m guessin.”

I reach for his face and Declan leans back, but doesn’t brush my hand away. I can see his green eyes darken and he bites the inside of his cheek. The crackle of energy returns, but I know it is forced, that my slow, intimate movement has elevated the tension exactly how I’d intended. My thumbnail rubs across his bottom lip and he swallows, the sound audible.

“Funny, because I recall my world getting rocked a lot harder those few minutes Tucker and I were alone in my classroom.”

And here’s some Ed to get you in the mood:

Ah…Mumford

I’ve mentioned this on Twitter previous, but seriously, guys, does anyone else want to just crawl into Mumford’s music and live there forever? I don’t think I’m alone. This one is a personal favorite.

Le sigh.

Writing Mojo

About four years ago I got fired. It was unexpected (isn’t it always?) and I admit to being a bit shell shocked about the whole situation. mojoThere was one positive that came out of all that drama, though…in a matter of three months, I completed a novel. Now, I won’t say that I wrote the entire thing in three months, but I did finish it in that time.

Every day, I wrote from sun up to sun down. I was compelled.  I was in love with my characters, in love with the mythology, the humor. It was a fun book to write.

Unfortunately, Twilight happened around that time and my beloved “vampire novel” became a trunk story. Sometimes I still go back and reread it, going through my favorite parts, enjoying the emotion, the drama, the humor.

I’ve written quite a bit of fiction since then., mainly short stories, but certainly not with the same passion and enthusiasm as I did that book.

I’m new to the Rom genre. For years and years I snubbed my nose at romance writers and readers, not really understanding that to be a truly great writer, one must be willing to expand beyond those self imposed barriers.

For the past three weeks, I’ve jumped in, feet first and started writing a contemporary New Adult romance novel. This is definitely outside of my self built box, but it’s something I’m enjoying. It’s wonderful to sit down and just write. I’ve gotten that same sensation I had when I wrote the vampire novel. I think about my characters, my scenes all day and eagerly race home to get back to them. I’m told that’s the mark of a good story. I’m told that if you can’t stop writing a story, then your readers won’t be able to stop reading.

This excites me.

In the past three weeks, I’ve written nearly 50k words or about 160 pages. In. Three. Weeks.

I’m astounded. I’m nervous, and for the first time in a very long time, I’ve got my writing mojo running full force.

What are you writing? I’d love to hear from you!

A Few Book Recs…

I’ve read quite a bit, especially in the past couple of weeks. In general, I tend to read about 80-100 books a year, but the past week or so, I’ve tackled eight, I believe.

I’m recommended a few out of that eight and yes, I realize that I’m likely well out of the loop. Additionally, I’m recommended a few of my personal, all time favorite books. Tell me what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the following.

Be blessed!

1. On Dublin Street by Samantha Youngdublin

I literally read this book about three times (with lots of skipping to the “good bits”) In case you’ve been under a rock, like me, apparently, here’s a brief synopsis.

Four years ago, Jocelyn Butler left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Edinburgh. Burying the grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without any real attachments has worked well for her so far but when Joss moves into a fantastic apartment on Dublin Street, her carefully guarded world is shaken to its core by her new roommate’s sexy older brother.

Braden Carmichael is a man who always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Jocelyn in his bed. Knowing how skittish Joss is concerning any kind of relationship, Braden proposes a sexual arrangement that should satisfy the intense attraction between them without it developing into anything ‘more’. An intrigued Jocelyn agrees, completely unprepared for

the Scotsman and his single-minded determination to strip the stubborn young woman bare…to the very soul.

I loved this book. It was hot, it had impact and a main character, Joss, that I really adored. Bredan, her love interest was wonderful and the dynamic between them really was sweet.

2. Slammed by Colleen HooverSlammed

This was a sweet, sweet book about youngish love and how responsibility and commitment doesn’t care what your heart wants. There was a lot of sexual tension in this book (which I adore), but not a lot in the way of the “resolution” of that tension. Still, Slammed is very well written and the characters are very likable.

Falling in love can feel like poetry. Or it can feel like a slam to the heart.
Colleen Hoover’s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them. Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she’s losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her. Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together and the forces that tear them apart. Only through the poetry they share are they able to speak the truth that is in their hearts and imagine a future where love is cause for celebration, not regret.

3. Bet Me by Jennifer Cruisebet me

This was a funny, funny contemp romance with a “fluffy girl” main character and I cracked up reading it. There are some great, great one liners and a main couple that really get each other. This book was so much fun to read that I didn’t mind that there wasn’t a lot in the “hot and heavy” department. Still, I’d definitely go back and read more of Cruise’s novels.

Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes, and keep him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.But Fate has other plans, and it’s not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they’re dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all-true love.4. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuirebeautiful_disaster_jamie_mcguire_a_p

I can only say that I am in love with Travis. Seriously. Totally and completely in love with this caveman. Lots and lots of sexual tension, lots of bickering, lots and lots and lots of “almosts” with a wonderful pay off.

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Old favorites I adore:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Daughter of Smoke and Blood and Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison

Do yourself a favor and check out these classics. They changed the way I write!

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Eden Butler

Dream big. Work harder.