Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Musings with Rachel Haimowitz

Song of the Fallen Re-Release Celebration

 Hello all, and thank you so much for joining me to chat about the queer high fantasy duology Song of the Fallen! This series holds a particularly special place in my heart, not just because I absolutely adore high fantasy and sloooooooooooooow-burn enemies-to-lovers romance and there isn’t nearly enough of any of that to go round in queer fiction, but also because Counterpoint, the first book in the duology, was the first novel I ever sold.

One of the questions I—and probably most published authors—get asked the most often is how I got published. The path of the Song of the Fallen novels was both particularly easy and particularly fraught—Counterpoint is now at its third publisher (if you count a brief interlude of self-pub), and Crescendo, the second book in the duology, is also at its third publisher without any self-pub interludes. Though Counterpoint came out in 2010 and Crescendo in 2011, this month marks the very first time they have both been under the same roof—complete with gorgeous new cover art!—and I couldn’t be happier to have them there.

But when I first sold Counterpoint, it was to a teeny little startup epub called Guiltless Pleasure Publishing. The editor actually came to me, which was an unparalleled delight—she’d read and loved my fanfiction and wanted to sign me for original work. (Note: now that I’m an acquiring editor who also loves fanfic, I have the pleasure of doing this too.) She actually signed me on proposal, which, looking back, was pretty outrageously lucky for a first-time novelist.

What was meant to be one book of about 80,000 words grew and grew as the writing progressed (*shakes fist at high fantasy*), and at 120,000 words I found a natural conclusion to the first half of the story arc and told her there was no way to do this without a book 2. She agreed, and I set off to write Crescendo while Counterpoint went into edits.

Counterpoint came out to a fairly large splash, though I was new to queer romance and didn’t know it at the time. Again, looking back, I was pretty outrageously lucky. Unfortunately, halfway through Crescendo edits, the owner of Guiltless Pleasure came down with a serious, long-term illness, and despite Counterpoint’s success, she had to close up shop. Which left me with not one but two books without a home, one of which was literally paying my bills and the other of which was an eagerly awaited sequel. So, very slightly older and very slightly wiser than I’d been a year past, I self-pubbed Counterpoint, and went publisher shopping for a home for Crescendo. I was fortunate in that Counterpoint had sold well enough to open a lot of potential doors for Crescendo, but ultimately I went with another small press that was willing to use the same cover artist and offer very competitive royalty terms.

I won’t get into details, but more or less from the moment I signed the contract to the moment I got the rights back to that book three years later, that experience was an unmitigated disaster. Thankfully, in the meanwhile, me and some writer and publisher buddies launched Riptide. I’d self-pubbed Counterpoint around January of 2011, and in December of 2011 I signed the rights over to Riptide instead, where it nestled in quite comfortably and saw a huge sales boost thanks to Riptide’s amazing marketing department. Around the same time, Crescendo released at the other publisher while I stared longingly at it and wished I’d conceived of Riptide before I’d signed over the second book.

So, like I said, weirdly easy but also kind of fraught. Fast forward three years, to just last month. I get rights back to Crescendo. It needs new cover art, so we decide, hey, let’s give the whole series a face lift. Plus, I’d been very excited about the work this particular cover artist had been doing for us (her name is Simon√©, and I highly encourage you to check her out), and I was dying to get a cover from her on one of my books. Or, better yet, two of my books!


And so here we are. Three publishers and two covers per book, and my very first novel and its sequel are finally at home at Riptide. If you’ve read them, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making literally my entire writing career possible. If you haven’t, I hope you’ll consider sharing my babies with me.  :)

To help make that possible, I’m giving away a signed set of the Song of the Fallen paperbacks with the gorgeous new cover art. I’ll ship anywhere in the world, too. To enter, just leave a comment with a way to contact you if you win. You can enter multiple times by commenting on each blog this re-release tour stops at, so be sure to visit the other stops!

Two enemies, three warring races, and a singular love with the power to change the future.

It is the twilight of mankind. Depleted by generations of war with a dark race, the human kingdoms and their ancient alliance stand on the brink of extinction. The outlands are soaked with the blood of the fallen. The midlands are rotting with decadence and despair.

Elfkind, estranged by past crimes, watches and waits for nature to run its course.

And then the two collide.

Ayden’s life has long been guided by two emotions: love for his sister, and hatred of all things human. When he’s captured in battle, he is enslaved in the service of a human prince, Freyrik Farr.

Freyrik has always known elves to be beautiful and dangerous, but never has one affected him as deeply as Ayden. Teetering on a dagger’s edge between duty and high treason, Freyrik discovers that some choices can change a life, and some an entire world.

Between prejudice, politics, pride, and survival, Ayden and Freyrik must carve a new path, no matter how daunting. For nothing less than the fate of both their peoples rests on the power of their perseverance—and their love.

About the Author

Rachel is an M/M erotic romance author and the Publisher of Riptide Publishing. She's also a sadist with a pesky conscience, shamelessly silly, and quite proudly pervish. Fortunately, all those things make writing a lot more fun for her . . . if not so much for her characters.

When she's not writing about hot guys getting it on (or just plain getting it; her characters rarely escape a story unscathed), she loves to read, hike, camp, sing, perform in community theater, and glue captions to cats. She also has a particular fondness for her very needy dog, her even needier cat, and shouting at kids to get off her lawn.

Connect with Rachel:

Website          Tumblr          Twitter
Goodreads          Email


  1. Wonderful covers! How have I missed these books?
    mary at dmparker dot wanadoo dot co dot uk

  2. Who doesn't love when enemies fall in love. It's so exciting to see the progression.

  3. *waves to Rachel* This story is fantastic & I can whole heartedly recommend it to everyone! The new covers are gorgeous, Rachel! Congrats on your babies finding a happy home!
    seritzko at gmail dot com

  4. It's a great premise, and the covers are absolutely beautiful!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  5. I have heard great things about these books. Congrats on the re-release and new covers....gorgeous!
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

  6. I loved these books! The new covers are gorgeous!!

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  7. The book sounds awesome and the covers are absolutely amazing. Congrats on the re-release of these two books and the new complete set.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  8. Nice covers

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  9. Sounds a like a book right up my ally. I don't know how I didn't find it before.
    Jczlapin at gmail dot com

  10. Absolutely love the covers!!

    jasdarts at hotmail dot com

  11. Great covers, and I'm so glad you got to get them back together.

    Please count me in.

    alishead1 @

  12. Thank you for this interesting post about how you had to get back your rights to your first books and they have new covers, such with gorgeous new artwork from Simone. I have wanted to read them for sometime, so I am really grateful for a chance to win a paperback set of this series, awesome as I love epic reads and this promises to be what I often miss in books, unless they are a nice long series :) Some of my favourite fantasy books have recently being republished in ebooks and to be broken down into separate parts :) Thank you again. slholland30 {at) outlook {dot} com

  13. Hiya everyone! Thank you so much for starting my morning off with a huge smile--I love to see all the love for the cover art (I'm *still* squeeing over that), and I'm so glad the books sound interesting to everyone. Thanks too to those who've read and are recommending them, and thanks especially to my lovely host! Good luck in the contest, folks!

  14. Love high fantasy, add in a yummy MM romance and you have me hooked. Definitely going to the top of my TBR.
    Thanks for the giveaway.


  15. Congrats to vitajex, the winner of the signed paperbacks! And thanks again to everyone for following along on the tour, for hosting me, and for sharing your enthusiasm about the books and the covers <3