I’m aware that the headline is a bit click-baity BUT it’s true.
I am insane.
I did delete my book.
Or at least, 40,000 words of it.
Before I start explaining why, I’ll just give you a quick run down of today’s topics (welcome to my Ted Talk). It’s gonna be a long one so, it’s best you’re forewarned and all.
- HOW YOU CAN READ WHEN A MOTH LOVED A BEE RIGHT NOW
- AUDIO NEWS & THREE TEASERS
- PAPERBACK & HARDBACK NEWS
- GOODREADS GIVEAWAY
- WHY I DELETED 40,000 WORDS (20% of the BOOK)
- TRUE SIZE OF THE BOOK
- MASSIVE TEASER
Right, so, feel free to skim to the relevant part that you’d like to read, or if you’re coming along for the entire spiel…grab a drink and let’s begin.
- HOW YOU CAN READ WHEN A MOTH LOVED A BEE RIGHT NOW
About a year ago, Galatea (a reading based app) approached me and were insanely lovely to deal with. I’m not on many app based reading sites as I’m very fussy over which ones I approve, but Galatea have been nothing short of amazing. Because of this, they have WHEN A MOTH LOVED A BEE for an exclusive release RIGHT NOW.
So…if you want to read before anyone else, here is the link: https://app.getgalatea.com/library/en/summary/when_a_moth_loved_a_bee
Or click the photo!
2. AUDIO NEWS & TEASERS
First, I just have to say that the audio book for this is INSANE. Tor Thom and Fiona Clare KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE FREAKING PARK and even though I’ve listened to this book twice AND read it about 4 million times, I can safely say I’m still in love with it. Not only did they record over Christmas to get it done before release, but the day they handed over the finished files for upload, I had to say…'”Oh, by the way, I just deleted 40,000 words. Here’s 135 pages of Time Stamps that need deleting.”
So…that’s to say that unfortunately, the Audio Book WON’T be releasing on the 3rd Feb BUT the edits are in process right now so it won’t be a long delay.
A few days at the most.
I’m going to try and sell it direct on my website so you get it at a heavily discounted price ASAP rather than having to wait for it to clear approval and production with Audible / Apple Books etc for a higher cost.
SO…keep checking back here because the audio book literally will pop up any day and you will want to listen. Just check out the snippets below. (Recorded with my phone so the sound isn’t the best but you can see just how amazing they play off one another. Done in duet style and when they do those spicy scenes…it’s toe-curlingly good!
3. PAPERBACK & HARDBACK NEWS
The moment I’ve pressed publish on this newsletter / blog post, I’m going to go and upload the paperback and hardback onto Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
They will appear for sale within 24-48 hours so will actually be sooner than the ebook (BUT I have to press publish now, as they can take up to 5 days…so…better be safe than sorry).
So again, keep an eye out for it.
When I send out the Release Day Alert, the buylinks should all be included. For now, here are the covers for both. The stunning gold one is made by an amazing artist named Cleo and the hand-drawn vintage one is by me. I’m having a great time updating my entire catalogue with hard backs and have hand drawn each one. The paperback has pretty formatting and all the usual things and the hardback is digitally signed with exclusive formatting.
4. GOODREADS GIVEAWAY
I’ve got TWO UNSIGNED paperbacks of WHEN A MOTH LOVED A BEE up for grabs on Goodreads. I’m gutted that they only let people from the US and CA enter (what about the rest of us?) BUT if you want to enter to win here is the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/359531-when-a-moth-loved-a-bee
I’ve been blown away by the messages I’m getting and the reviews. This book seems to be touching people in different ways which is insanely awesome. I wish I could share them all, but here are just a few…
“We need to petition Netflix NOW to turn this into a series! The world-building created by Pepper Winters is nothing short of phenomenal. …Vivid beauty, gifted imagination, and magnificent storytelling. There are not enough words to do this story justice.” Totally Booked Blog
“This unputdownable novel should come with a warning. This book is simply unforgettable.”– Villainous Vixin
“Fantasy and dark romance lovers, this is one book you will not want to miss. This book is full of angst, chemistry, and heartbreak, and it’s absolutely incredible.” Devon’s Book Corner
“It’s visually stunning. In fact, you’ll wish to see this story played out on the big screen. If you haven’t read Pepper Winter’s work you need to remedy that immediately. Her writing style is something to behold”. – Buzy Reading
“Hardcore fantasy junkies will go crazy over this book, I’m in awe of this author, she’s found her true calling in this genre. This would be amazing on the big screen!” – Kitty Kats Crazy About Books
“Gorgeous and effusive, this behemoth of a fantasy shoots for the stars with an apocalyptic-level romance at its core. The moth’s love for his bee is hungry, dangerously dark, and consumes on a cosmic scale. The pages purr with compassion in a mystical realm, and the cliffhanger is out of this world. I’m dying to see what happens next.”
~ Pam Godwin, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author
“Pepper Winters is masterful, original, and epic! I love getting lost in her work and am always ready for more!”
– Meghan March, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author
6. WHY I DELETED 40,000 WORDS (20% of the BOOK)
Now, this next part (after sharing such incredible reviews will probably make you think…huh?
BUT after sending out ARCS, I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that I hadn’t quite nailed the book. I did something I never do and that was look at Goodreads. The percentage of good reviews to not-so-good was great, but that sinking sensation in my gut made me click and read the not-so-good. And you know what? They were right. They were respectful and kind but pointed out all the bits that I was afraid of that I hadn’t quite nailed.
It was 8 days before release. The files had all been loaded, the paperbacks created, the hardback finalized, the audio narrated, and for two days I tried to convince myself that it was fine.
But here’s the thing with me.
I don’t do fine.
I don’t tolerate fine.
If I do something, I want it to be EXTRAORDINARY.
It doesn’t matter if the book isn’t for everyone (no books are)
It doesn’t matter if it plops like a stone in a pond and doesn’t get read.
What does matter is how I feel about the quality I put out and…I wasn’t happy.
So…what did I do? I pulled three all nighters with one purpose and one purpose only. To delete what didn’t need to be there. I was ruthless. My red pen and eraser got a great workout and this beast of a book slowly got trimmed and honed until I can now safely say…it’s fabulous. The angst is there, the story hasn’t changed, but the waffle, and unneeded bits are gone. I then went and did another 3 full days of listening to the audio and finding those pesky lines that needed to go. My poor eyes.
What does this mean for you if you read the unedited version? Well, I owe you an apology for not putting out the best book I could and for ignoring that little voice inside me that said it wasn’t perfect. (If you were an ARC reviewer and would like the newly improved book, please email me and I’ll forward it!)
For those who haven’t read it yet, you’re in for a ride. The story has not changed at all. Nothing in the core of the tale has gone. But wow, it’s faster, tighter, and honed as sharp as can be.
I’ve always said this was a romance. Yes, it’s fantasy but it’s the romance that is the story. The star-crossed amnesiac lovers who are so, so much more than what they fear and so, so much than what they appear.
The story follows their slow awakening in a world that is so vast it spills out into so many others.
Yes, it’s slow burn but with spice.
Yes, it’s full of agnst.
And yes, it’s a cliffhanger.
7. TRUE SIZE OF THE BOOK
Now, because I know Amazon has a habit of terrifying people about the size of the book, let me set your mind at rest. Previously, Amazon said WHEN A MOTH LOVED A BEE was 978 pages or something ridiculous. Now, with the updated file, it’s 828. HOWEVER, I’m not sure where they get their numbers from because I can assure you, it is not 828 pages.
My manuscript is 397 pages.
And the epub file on ANY other retailer is: 596. So…don’t be afraid by the size. If you’ve read Unseen Messages, Destroyed, and/or The Son and His Hope from me…that’s how big it is. Bigger than your average books, but not big enough to kill you. (I hope).
Here is the evidence:
8. MASSIVE TEASER
And now, if I haven’t scared you off completely, and you’re looking forward to reading…here is a teaser that is a little bit spoilery but not entirely, because you know the premise of the book. I truly hope you enjoy their tale and come along for the ride!
I glimpsed her through the long stems, but then she was gone.
The crescent mark on my thigh suddenly burned.
“Forbidden and therefore banished apart—”
I folded forward in agony.
Hissing between my teeth, I clutched my thigh, pinching the crescent-moon. It welled with deeper pigment, gleaming metallic around the edges. The slicing, sizzling pain didn’t stop—keeping time with my thundering heart.
The acrid flavour of loss coated my tongue.
Memories swirled behind the forgotten veil of my mind, desperate to give me truth but stuck behind an impenetrable wall.
Blood appeared on the tip of the crescent, oozing from my flesh.
I struggled to catch a breath, crippled beneath the bleeding sear.
A burst of blackness sank through my bones.
My toes ached.
My ankles crackled.
Shadows suddenly snaked out of my being, swirling angrily around me.
I froze as those shadows thickened, delivering night to where I crouched, even while the sun still shone above.
I could no longer hear her.
No longer see her.
Blinding sorrow had me tripping upright, my torso cresting the high grasses, and my eyes locking onto the white-haired girl up ahead.
The shades that’d wrapped around me dispersed, dissolving into the air as if pleased with my response and content to vanish.
I wasn’t quiet as I closed the distance between us.
She stiffened and turned.
Clutching her woven bowl to her chest, she gasped as her eyes shot wide.
Grief lodged in my throat for losing her.
Despair cracked my spine for not recognising her.
Even now, even face to face, my heart said yes all while my eyes struggled to remember.
How could I know someone I couldn’t recall?
How could I love someone I didn’t even know?
I slammed to a stop before her, my fingers tinged with blood from my mark, and my skin so much filthier than hers.
Regardless that she was a stranger to me, every breath in my body said she was the one. The one I’d been searching for, desperate and dying for.
“It’s you.” The words fell out of me as if I’d been choking on them ever since I awoke, lost and alone.
She clung to her harvesting bowl as if it would ward me off, her gaze tripping over my body. She drank in my face, my chest, and lower. Lingering between my bare legs before dropping to my dirty feet.
My blood sang.
My bones throbbed.
I shivered with crackling intensity.
Stepping the final distance between us, I reached for her arm.
I had to touch; to make sure she was real.
She reeled backward, tripping on the grass stalks, dropping her basket and spraying the plucked seedheads everywhere. She shouted something I didn’t understand. She didn’t look at the mess she’d made or the loss of all the work she’d done. Her eyes never left mine, panicked and a deep, rich amber.
Her fear wrapped around my heart, making me sick.
I dropped my arm and balled my hands. I didn’t mean to scare her.
I thought she’d be as grateful as I was.
We were no longer alone.
We were together again, just like we once had been.
“I’m sorry,” I grunted my regret, taking a short step away.
Her shoulders stayed tight by her ears as she watched me warily. The odd fur around her chest and hips seemed too thick and big for her, leaving the flat bareness of her stomach almost stark and the frailness of her collarbones too defined.
At least she didn’t try to run.
I didn’t think I’d be able to ignore the urge to chase if she ran.
I’d dreamed of her so often.
Those dreams were the reason I’d kept surviving, kept searching.
If she isn’t real…
My eyes narrowed with terror.
What if this was an illusion?
What if I’d fallen asleep in the grass and the sun played tricks with my mind?
My heart fisted with thorns.
I have to know.
Marching toward her, I didn’t give her the chance to flee.
My hands came up and clamped onto her soft, sun-warmed cheeks.
I wasn’t prepared for the pain.
For the spirit-slicing bang.
“Through every star and every sea, I’ll watch over you.” I dropped my head, nuzzling my nose to her adorably small one. “Neither time nor distance, nor war or disaster can stop what is true. You’re mine and that can never be undone.”
I cried out as the vision ended.
Something I’d never felt before tore through me, violent and vicious.
She gasped and jerked in my hold.
Her skin stung mine with a power that made the rest of the world vanish into nothing. Nothing was more important than this. Nothing was more real than her.
Her hands swept up to lock around my wrists, her nails digging into my skin.
I shuddered as a surprised groan escaped me.
Her touching me. Her blood flowing beneath veins that marked us as the same but somehow totally different…
I’d never felt anything so right.
My moon mark scorched with fresh blood, delivering a deeper punishment. Fire licked between us, consuming me with so many things I wanted to remember but couldn’t.
I sank into it.
I gave myself over to the decimating burn.
She opened her mouth to scream; true terror glowed in her stare. I hated that I’d scared her, but I couldn’t let her go. Not yet. I had to know. Had to remember.
Please…let me remember!
She screamed. Loudly. Far, far too loudly.
Instincts roared through me. I planted a palm over her lips, drowning beneath a fresh wave of crackling potency from touching her.
For a heartbeat, she let me hold her.
Her amber eyes glowed and her nostrils flared, but she didn’t move, as if shock had rendered her useless. But then fear crashed over her again, and she bit me.
She sank her teeth into my palm, ripping her face from my hold.
I growled and yanked my hand away, shaking out the pain from her sharp teeth. The current that licked between us still flowed, making me shake. Even apart, my fingers continued to burn as if I’d just held the sun.
Stumbling backward, she gasped and shook her head, hair sheeting over her shoulders. Glancing down, she swiped at her upper thigh, a shocked moan escaping her as her fingers came away bloody.
I almost collapsed to my knees.
She has a mark.
I tripped forward. “It is you. It has to be. You’re the one I’ve been dreaming about. The one I lost before everything was stolen.”
She held up her crimson-stained fingers, backing away as I stumbled toward her, my heart faltering with so many things. So much hope. So, so much hope.