The Book of Firsts
Three boys, the 'kings' of the school. One cynical newcomer. An outrageous competition.
When Mika Niles overhears the details of "The Book of Firsts" she's at first bemused, then scornful, then intrigued. Judging which of three very handsome young men is best at kissing, and...?
With no time in her final year for serious attachments, a series of lunchtime trysts is more than tempting – and an opportunity like this might never come her way again. But this light-hearted game is also a scandalous secret, and few can play with fire and walk away unscathed.
Out now in the following stores (and more to follow as it slowly makes its way through the various distribution chains). A note for paperback purchasers - this one's in 5x8 instead of the slightly larger TPB I use for the AKH books. I'll keep the sizes consistent for the pen names, though.
It's a very pretty cover. :)
Amazon (US, AU, UK, FR, DE etc)
Amazon (US, AU, UK, FR, DE etc)
My plan for the rest of the year is to work on Tangleways and the sequel to this (which at the moment I just call 'Seconds').
[So many books I want to write, so much procrastination...]
Is it coming to B&N?ReplyDelete
Yes, it goes to B&N via Smashwords. It just takes time to show up in their indexing. I'll add a B&N link once it's available.ReplyDelete
Can you add it to BookBub? I no longer write reviews on Amazon (not willing to take the risk, because of how they're sometimes weird about authors reviewing other authors), but I'll do a BookBub review. For some reason I've got 8600 followers there, so it's hopefully not as useless as it sounds. But it's not showing up there yet and you might need to manually add it.ReplyDelete
I think Bookbub gets all books automatically from Amazon, but I've associated it with my name - they have to approve that, though.Delete
The problem was actually their abysmal search feature. Turns out "The Book of Firsts" gets 248,236 results and I didn't make it past the first page. At least you're first on the 16,000 results for Karan K Anders! Anyway, review's up. I hope you sell tons of copies! (Although maybe not so many that you get permanently distracted from your other works -- I'm still hoping for the sequel to The Starfighter Invitation :) )Delete
Thank you! I'm not sure how successful this book will be - I know it won't suit all my current readers. I'd still write it because it was what was dominating my head. Because I rarely match up fully with common genres, I can be hard to market, and am unlikely to ever have any big hits. While I'd love a big writing income, it's still amazing to me that people want to read my stories, so have any kind of loyal readership is wonderful.Delete
I'd be glad of any reviews, no matter where! Reviews are always a big challenge, particularly with a brand new pen name.
I would never have bought it if it wasn't by you. On the surface, it is very much not my kind of thing. Thoroughly enjoyed it, though! And I'm totally sympathetic to the marketing issue -- I have a similar problem, I think. My press name's tag line used to be "bending, blending and breaking genres." (Then I wrote a book where that wasn't true at all, so changed it.)Delete
Just finished it. I liked a lot about it. I like the characters, the world building and the mystery. For me though, there were just too many sex scenes and they started to get repetitive to the point I just started skipping through them. Probably my least favorite of your books, but still pretty good. And I'll buy the sequelReplyDelete
Glad it (mostly) worked out for you Brent. The sequel (even though I guess Mika will technically have more sex) will involve way fewer actual sex scenes. A lot more family drama instead. [Gosh those kings have a lot of family to get through.]Delete
Looking forward to it. Kudos, btw, for being one of the very few authors I've read that addresses post sex clean up at all, much less realistically, when writing sex scenes.Delete
I am just finishing a third re-read, doing my best to read it like a writer, with the idea of "what can I learn from this?" and I actually am seriously impressed with how every single sex scene manages to develop character and relationships. I generally skim sex scenes, having read thousands of them and generally finding them repetitious and more boring than interesting, but the structure of this and the game means that all the way to the very end you're still developing personalities through the choices they make. It's a lot more than simple mechanics. Rin's fast perceptiveness with bondage, Kyou's fantasy costume, the three very different approaches to Simon Says -- it's not repetitious at all. I loved the first read for the fun of it, but I'm impressed on the third read for the craft of it. (Although the third dress for "rough" changing color from mint green with buttons to a vivid blue confused me the first time, puzzled me the second time, and bugged me the third time.) But I'm finding myself more eager for the sequel than I am for any other of my hoped-for books of yours. And it's absolutely as fun the third time through as it was the first and second. :)Delete
It was fabulous! Totally bananas but great. Of everything I’ve read and watched it reminded me most of Magic Mike xxl - not in plot or ontent but in the twin themes of unabashed female pleasure and male friendship.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you liked it Edilee. I was going for an explorative, positive, but respectful of partner response feel for the sex scenes.Delete
Bought! I'll have to wait a little while to get through my work reading, but I have every expectation to enjoy it :) And wooo gonna order the PB for my shelf as a late-late bday present to myself :D (gotta keep the tradition alive)ReplyDelete
I just finished reading Book of Firsts yesterday and loved it! I loved the build-up of the friendships between Mika and the Three Kings, the respect between them all, and the way it all felt like all the best parts of the manga and dramas I adore without the teeth-grindingly painful aspects of the tropes. I'm just off to re-read it, and looking forward enthusiastically to the sequel.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you enjoyed it Emily. [And I think I share an appreciation of books that skip the less fun tropes.]Delete
I would have read this no matter the genre or style, because I just love the way you draw characters, and especially heroines. I think someone on Amazon reviewed it as smutty, which I really found amusing, and I guess accurate too. Enjoyed all of it - and especially the huge amounts of respect the Three Kings and Mika have for one another, rarely do you read about sex in such a pleasurably consensual manner. Am looking forward to family dramas in Seconds as it sounds like there will be a lot to unpack there.ReplyDelete
I did refer to it as smut quite often when I was writing it. :)Delete
It was a pleasure. And I enjoyed the story of Mika and Three Kings thoroughly. Rin and Kyou remind me of heroes from anime Ouran Koukou Club. And I am a big fan of the way how You build the novel's world and how You create multidimensional characters.ReplyDelete
The closeness of the Ouran guys is certainly something I hope the Kings match. Mika would probably enjoy it enormously if everyone dressed up and served her tea, too.Delete
I finished the book and enjoyed it much more than I had expected. I am happy to read a bit of porn, but I am impressed that the plot and characters quickly became more important than the sex. (Yeah, sex scenes quickly become repetitive and boring). Like the most recent Stray short story, this one had a lot to do with status in groups. Lania was a very fun character. I enjoyed that Mika liked to introduce her father as an author. The lack of jealousy among the three kings seems unrealistic, but what do I know about polyamory? I am pleased to hear there will be a sequel--I do want to know what happens to these characters as they move on with life. There could be some big reveals in a later book that I might enjoy. For a high school drama, it was surprising that teachers have almost no presence in the book. It is not marketed as a reverse harem book, which is probably a wise choice. Thank you for surprising us with a new genre.ReplyDelete
Mika's very much a self-study person, so it would take a lot for a teacher to make a big impression on her.Delete
You even warned about the comment eating blog and still I did not copy to my clipboard. You are, to me, an author whose writing I find transcends genre, meaning the strength of your characters, especially the heroines, and the tangled plots you weave are what pull me in every time. Even when smuttier than usual! But how lovely that you have given us sex between partners that is about pleasure between both parties, a rare enough version of sex that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Cannot wait for Seconds, because I feel like the family drama and resolutions of while be very satisfyingReplyDelete
Like smut, family drama is something I usually don't write much about, but the Kings have some toxic relatives, so there's inevitably going to be a bunch, despite their attempts to cut the worst elements out. But there's also a lot of slice of life living together, and a bit of corporate drama as well.Delete
Well this was a roller coaster of a ride. I will admit I never expected to read any smut written by one of my all time favorite writers (seriously, you’re up there with robin McKinley and Brandon Sanderson on my list of favs), and I am aghast that I didn’t read this as soon as it came out. I’m a little disappointed that anyone would pick this up and then purposely skip the smut, it’s stated pretty clearly that the content would be explicit...but I guess smut isn’t everyone’s cup of tea 😅🙃. I didn’t find the sex scenes repetitive at all and I liked that even though it was smut, the lemony scenes still built up the characterizations. I love how tolerant and understanding the characters are and it’s probably the best example of harem/poly relationships I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The exploration of sex and boundaries within this novel was also pretty darn amazing, it was handled with respect and without judgment, I really can’t wait to read the sequel!ReplyDelete
I'm glad you enjoyed it nan-chan! [And place me in such august company.] It's a big compliment to have people read out of their usual genres for me. ^^Delete
I enjoyed this book more than expected given the subject. I was at a loss when I finished it, a sure sign of a good read! Is there any particular reason for choosing Quebec City for this book? I live in the province. : )ReplyDelete
I discovered your books through a discussion thread among fans of another author. Normally I only read fantasy, but I’ll read any genre you write because I trust your writing. Medair is one of my favourite books.
QC mainly because it looks very pretty, and it's somewhere I'd like to visit.Delete
Though also in part because it's relatively close to the location of 'Helios'. I mentioned in an earlier post that Firsts is technically an SF novel, and that's because it's set in a Greenland that drifted several hundred kilometres south. So it's a slice of life in a SF setting that reads like fantasy. :D
Glad you've been enjoying the books, Caly. I particularly am happy that many of my usual readers are willing to follow me 'off-genre'.
I enjoy the role of music in the story and how important it is to many of the characters. I will have trouble listening to "Killer Queen" without visualizing a new action scene. You had the your performers do "Believer" in the festival. Is this the song my Imagine Dragons? I initially heard the old song by the Monkeys. Which do you intend? I look forward to Seconds.ReplyDelete
Yeah, the Imagine Dragons song (which I will now imagine being performed by The Monkeys). Glad you enjoyed the book!Delete
It took me a while to get around to reading this as I've been disappointed lately by a lot of reverse harem just being nothing but sex. But omg, I'm going to reread this asap! For a book with so many sex scenes I cannot stress enough how beautifully the characterization was written. The sex scenes were smoking hot of course but more importantly were so important a part of revealing the characters depths and developing understanding between Mika and the guys. Absolutely fantastic job and I cannot wait for the sequel! (I thought I was waiting most for the next AKH book but now I think it's Seconds)ReplyDelete
I'm glad you liked it, Susan! One of the reasons I went so far off-genre is because I just like these characters a lot (and really enjoy the pure fluffiness of rich, talented and generally _nice_ people getting to know each other and being there for each other). It's going to be one of my books that I re-read occasionally because it's a mood lifted. :)Delete
Hi, I am a new reader of your work. This book came highly recommended on Jennifer Crusie's blog and I just wanted to say that I adore it. I am partway through my second read and want to crawl inside it and live there. What you call a bit of fluff is exactly what I needed in a world that feels crazy all of the time lately. I eagerly look forward to the next one!ReplyDelete
I'm glad you enjoyed it Emily! I'm very happy to have reached a new reader. I'm having fun working on the sequel, and hope it works for my readers as well.Delete
I’m a new reader who like Emily drifted in through Jenny Cruisie’s blog. I’m going to need to read some of your other books because I inhaled this one. I have a weakness for boarding school stories (even though long past the age) and the status games were fascinating. I didn’t really find it smutty since as others mentioned- it’s all about revealing character. The closeness of the boys and their brilliance really sold it for me. I also appreciate Mika’s delayed “booms”! She’s a wonderful character. I’ll have to go look through your backlist while waiting for the sequel.ReplyDelete
Oddly enough, the other series I'm supposed to be working on is at the book set in an actual boarding school (as opposed to Coruscar, which only has some boarders). Good luck with the backlist, and welcome!Delete
Coruscar read like such an enclosed world that it *felt* like a boarding school if that makes sense although I know Mika had an apartment and others lived with parents. I’ve now read it three times! Crazy. What is your other series in progress?Delete
I have three (three!) series in progress. The Very Secret Garden, which I'm going to finish up first so I can get it out of my head. The Trifold series (which is a world-building dense steampunkish and lots of gods fantasy series) and the Singularity series (starting with an MMO), which is the neglected one of the three, since I decided to do more on Trifold before I do more on it.Delete