The Whitman Street Series + Future Publications

The big news hit social media on Monday that I’m writing a m/f contemporary romance series that centers around a cat cafe for Sourcebooks. And despite Monday being April Fool’s Day, I promise this is not a joke!

Whitman Street is a fictional street I created that is in Brooklyn, kind of in the Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill area (like the western end of Atlantic Avenue, basically). A lot of you are probably like, “Where?” but the major takeaway is that I’m writing a series that is very neighborhood-centric, so it’s like a small-town romance, just set in Brooklyn.

If you’re playing at home, you might be like, “Kate, you seem to have a lot of books coming out.” And you would be right!

So, it’s very unlikely I will have any other new books coming out in 2019, because I have so many books coming out in 2020 and 2021 and I still have to write a lot of them. The schedule is roughly this:

This summer: I’ll be reissuing Save the Date, which was a novella originally published by Loose Id that has been out of print for about a year. Save the Date is a romantic comedy about a guy who needs a date for his ex’s wedding. I’ve expanded it about 10,000 words. (Cover art and a fresh edit are still pending.)

Spring/Summer 2020: The Elite Athletes Series. This is a m/m sports romance series set at the Olympics.

Fall 2020 and into 2021: The Whitman Street series. (I don’t have firm pub dates on those.)

Spring/Summer 2021: The Restoration Series, which is a m/m trilogy about people who are on home renovation shows on a TV cable network (that is not HGTV).

I have myself on a pretty tight schedule to get all these books written on time, but I’m VERY excited about all of it.

Pop-Up: Origin Stories

I thought it would be fun to write some pop-culture-related stories for ye olde blogge, so I’m starting a blog column called Pop-Up, in which I wax long on various pop culture topics. This will probably be a sporadic feature, although I’ve already got a second topic idea, so we’ll see! For my first column, I’m going to talk about nostalgia for the teen lit of my youth!

A lot of romance writers will tell you the same story: they discovered romance because their mother/aunt/babysitter/etc. was a big romance reader.

That is not true for me. My mother reads a lot of heavy nonfiction. My female relatives read mostly of sci fi and literary fiction, if they read much at all. I have a degree in English literature, and wrote an interdisciplinary thesis about nonconformist women and intersectional feminism in literature. Where did my great love of romance novels come from?

I think I have the answer now!

When I was 11, back in the distant, pre-Internet time of 1991, I talked my mom, who worked full time, into letting me go to my town’s public library instead of the dread after school program after school. And there, I—and often some of my friends—did homework and also read. A lot. My friend Chris and I went to the children’s section after school every day for a few months, and when we finished our homework, we read through basically every YA novel the library had at the time. This was more or less limited to novels by Judy Blume and Loises Duncan and Lowry, some ancient Nancy Drew Mysteries, a whole lot of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike thrillers, and a rotating rack of Sweet Valley High.

I mention all this to say that I was the prime age to be reading the books described in Gabrielle Moss’s delightful book Paperback Crush, which I finished reading this week. The book is part nostalgia and part criticism—YA from this era had a lot of affluent white girls—but what was interesting to me was that I finally made the connection between the teen romances I was reading in middle school and my love of romance novels. Like, I can draw a straight line from Sweet Valley High to Harlequin Presents.

I don’t remember a lot of the plots anymore, but I remember getting caught up in the antics of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield when I was in sixth grade. (I was a Type A even back then, so I identified with the studious Elizabeth.) (I always identify with the Type As. Rachel on Glee, Amy on Brooklyn Nine Nine, Chidi on The Good Place, and so on. I keep a Leslie Knope Funko Pop on my desk because she is my patron saint.) And I remember the Jungle Prom and the Fiat and the over-the-top drama. It’s like a junior version of a category romance in terms of tropes and soap opera antics. And I think I loved those books at the time because sunny California felt pretty much as far from my home in suburban New Jersey as you could get. (By the way, I recently started listening to the Double Love podcast, in which two Irish ladies discuss each SVH book. It’s really fun. I recommend!)

I started reading romance again in my mid-twenties, and it started with a friend handing me a Nora Roberts novel, which I read in one sitting on a bus trip. It reminded me how reading doesn’t have to be an intellectual exercise every time, it could just be a few hours of fun escapism. Which is not that romances novels can’t be intellectual or challenging or great literature, because they definitely can be, but they can also just be engaging, enjoyable, escapist books, too. I finished that book and thought, “I forgot reading can be this much fun.” And then I went out and found more romance. The rest is history!

I mean, I read a lot of Danielle Steel as a teenager. One of my library friends and I used to take books from the massive Wall of Harlequins my hometown library had (several full bookcases of just category romances) and read the sexy bits aloud to each other. Another friend and I wrote our own SVH-esque teen romance series when we were 12 or 13. (Each book was, like, 10 pages, written long-hand on loose leaf paper. These were not sophisticated stories.) And I’ve always liked stories in which people fall in love. (I’m totally that person who sits on the couch and shouts “Kiss! Kiss!” at my TV when characters have tense romantic moments on TV.)

So then the very first novel I ever write a complete draft of was a teen romance novel based loosely on the character dynamics in a lot of the Christopher Pike books I’d read. I was seventeen when I wrote it. (The plot was basically that eight friends go on vacation together right after they graduate from high school and some of the pair up romantically and there’s a LOT of drama. Nobody was a victim of a grisly murder or anything, although I think I gave one of the characters cancer.)

Anyway, this is all to say that Paperback Crush is a really fun book that made me all kinds of nostalgic, and I heartily recommend it if you are of a certain age (namely pushing 40 and thinking a lot about the books of your formative years).

Have a HOT Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I have a fun gift for you, which is that, at long last, my very first novel IN HOT PURSUIT is back in print!

Here’s the blurb:

It’s been a rough eighteen months since NYPD cop Noah Tobin’s secret boyfriend was murdered. Noah has been burying himself in work to forget, which is why his boss orders him to take a two-week vacation. This is how Noah ends up, reluctantly, at a resort and spa in Tampa for some rest and relaxation. On his first night in sunny Florida, a chance encounter with a handsome man at a bar piques Noah’s interest. Then the man disappears. 

Noah’s vacation is turned upside down because he can’t let it go when he learns that the man he met was wealthy restaurateur Harrison Knox, and that he’s missing. Noah reports what he knows to the local police and offers to help. When Harrison Knox turns up, beaten with an inch of his life, Noah knows he should walk away but he can’t; the men after Harry have deep ties to organized crime in Florida, for one thing, but more than that, he can’t seem to let Harry go…

And, as a special bonus, here is Valentine’s Day with Harry and Noah, a little schmoopily romantic scene from the IHP sequel I never finished.

Get it now!
Amazon
Kobo
iBooks
Universal

(As of this writing, there’s been a delay with the Barnes & Noble upload. I hope to have that cleared up soon. Please be patient and check back!)

Now Available: See the Light

See the Light is out today! Download, read, tell your friends!

Up-and-coming Broadway actor Jeremy was given two days to get up and get out. Dumped by his long-term boyfriend and suddenly homeless, he needs a sofa and a sympathetic ear, stat.

Enter Max, aspiring makeup artist and Jeremy’s BFF and former roommate.

Max has been in love with his best friend forever. Now that Jeremy is back in his home, his old feelings are back, too. He’s happy to help his friend, but this time…it’s complicated.

When Jeremy gets his big break in a new show, the message of the play hits home. “Live life to the fullest” means recognizing how he really feels about Max, and that’s not complicated at all. Jeremy’s in love, and wants to move full steam ahead.

But Max has waited too long for Jeremy to look at him this way, and he doesn’t want to risk his heart. If this is just a rebound fling, or if Jeremy is only interested in Max because he’s convenient, it will not only shatter him—it will ruin the best friendship he’s ever known.

Get the book wherever you buy ebooks, or click:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks
Universal

In Hot Pursuit, 2nd Edition

In Hot Pursuit, 2nd Ed., cover

The second edition of In Hot Pursuit (with it’s shiny new cover) is now up for pre-order!

In Hot Pursuit was my very first published novel, and it’s a little different from my others. It’s a romantic suspense—there’s a kidnapping plot and a car chase and a lot of people with guns—and it’s got a higher heat rating than many of my other books. But I’m quite fond of it.

This edition is not wildly different from the original Loose Id edition that came out in 2010. I did a pass through it to fix some clunky language and update the technology. (Remember flip phones?)

Here’s the blurb:

It’s been a rough eighteen months since NYPD cop Noah Tobin’s secret boyfriend was murdered. Noah has been burying himself in work to forget, which is why his boss orders him to take a two-week vacation. This is how Noah ends up, reluctantly, at a resort and spa in Tampa for some rest and relaxation. On his first night in sunny Florida, a chance encounter with a handsome man at a bar piques Noah’s interest. Then the man disappears. 

Noah’s vacation is turned upside down because he can’t let it go when he learns that the man he met was wealthy restaurateur Harrison Knox, and that he’s missing. Noah reports what he knows to the local police and offers to help. When Harrison Knox turns up, beaten with an inch of his life, Noah knows he should walk away but he can’t; the men after Harry have deep ties to organized crime in Florida, for one thing, but more than that, he can’t seem to let Harry go…

The pre-order is in the process of going live as of the time I’m writing this post. You can pre-order right now from Amazon and Kobo, and it should be up at iBooks and Barnes & Noble within the next few days. The book will release on Valentine’s Day, February 14, which is coincidentally within a few days of the 9th (!) anniversary of the book’s original release!

(I’ll update these links as the book goes live on these sites.)

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks

See the Light: The Show within the Book

In my books See the Light, Jeremy is an aspiring actor who finally gets his big break: a starring role in a new Broadway show called See the Light.

Because I am a tremendous dork, I created a whole show within the book, complete with a plot, characters, and a list of songs. (I’m no songwriter, alas, or you might be getting demos of those, too.)

But, for example, here’s a snippet from my project notebook, in which I wrote out the names of every song in the show (and the character who sings it):

Why, yes,I am that much of a dork.

Maybe you can use some context clue to determine what the show is about! (It’s kind of Dear Evan Hansen meets Love, Simon with a sprinkling of what was happening with the Parkland kids this spring, because that was happening while I writing the book.)

Here’s the song list:

Act I:

  1. “Behind the Curtain”
  2. “Every Day Is the Same”
  3. “Active Shooter”
  4. “Safe and Sound”
  5. “Never Again”
  6. “Every Day Is the Same” (Reprise)
  7. “Everything Changes”
  8. “Loud and Proud”
  9. “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day”
  10. “March On”
  11. “Everything Changes” (Reprise)
  12. “I Have to Tell You”
  13. “What Would They Do If They Knew”
  14. “I’m Tired”
  15. “Out and Proud/I Have to Tell You/I’m Gay”

Act II:

  1. “I’m Fine”
  2. “Why Can’t He Be More Like Me”
  3. “How Have I Never Noticed Him Before”
  4. “March On” (Reprise)
  5. “Something Real”
  6. “Gears of Government”
  7. “The First Step”
  8. “Anything”
  9. “Finale”

The plot of See the Light the musical is intertwined with See the Light the book, and it’s all about making discoveries about yourself and what you wants out of life, and about finally seeing what’s right there in front of you.

See the Light is available for pre-order wherever you buy books. Get it here!

See the Light: The Playlist

It’s likely not a secret that I like a show tune. And, since See the Light is basically 10% musical theater references, I thought it would be fun to make a playlist that includes all the songs referenced in the book. And then, because I can’t help myself, I added a bunch of other songs I like, too. Also, like, half of Hamilton, because I finally saw it a week before I finished the book. The songs are in no particular order except my whims, so I recommend listening to it on shuffle.

(Also, there are a few references to the 1980s cinematic classic St. Elmo’s Fire, so that’s the song that kicks it off.)

You can listen to the whole 4.5 hour production on Spotify:

Olympics romance coming your way in time for the 2020 Olympics!

I made this announcement on social media yesterday, but here it is again:

I have a 3-book series about elite athletes at the Olympics, which will be out around the 2020 Summer Olympics. Here’s the official announcement from Publisher’s Marketplace:

The first book will be available digitally and in mass market paperback. I am SO STOKED for you to read this series.

Baseball romance in time for the World Series!

You may know that I am a huge baseball fan. Game 1 of the World Series is tonight, which is very exciting! And you may have wandered over to this website thinking, “I heard Kate wrote that baseball romance, what was it called again?”

So, SURE, this is a promo post with an obvious tie-in to a current event, but this is also my website, so here you go. Here’s a primer on my baseball books if you want some baseball romance reading!

Out in the Field
Matt Blanco is at the twilight of his career and Iggy Rodrigquez is at the beginning of his on the World Champion Brooklyn Eagles. It’s romance, it’s Major League Baseball, and everyone gets a happy ending!

“One Man to Remember” in Playing Ball
Baseball in the Jazz Age! A Major League player in the Babe Ruth era falls for a flamboyant sportscaster.

Four Corners
This novel is not about baseball per se, but it is about four guys who played baseball as kids (they were the four corners of the baseball diamond) and the romance between Jake (the one who stayed) and Adam (the one who left). There’s a lot of baseball talk, though, and a tension-filled scene at the batting cages!

“What There Is”
This little novella is about a retired professional baseball player who needs a place to stay, and ends up finding love with his geeky roommate.

Thrown a CurveAnd finally, the Rainbow League series, which is about an LGBT amateur baseball league in NYC.
The Windup
Anxious Ian is back in NYC after fleeing a traumatic childhood and intends to leave just as soon as he makes sure his ailing mother is ok, but then he joins the Rainbow League and meets Ty, who may just persuade him to stay.

Thrown a Curve
Retired Yankee Mason came out in a very public way and still struggles to find acceptance in his own family. Meeting flashy hairdresser Patrick doesn’t make that much easier. And yet…

The Long Slide Home
Childhood friends Nate and Carlos save each other from some difficult times and become more than friends along the way. This one’s a bit of a slow burn, but it wraps up a series-long arc, so I recommend reading all 3 books in order.

COVER REVEAL: See the Light, available January 2019

My next book, about Broadway theater and two friends falling in love, will be out January 28, 2019! Here’s the blurb:

Kate McMurray brings friends-to-lovers to the Great White Way!
 
Up-and-coming Broadway actor Jeremy was given two days to get up and get out. Dumped by his long-term boyfriend and suddenly homeless, he needs a sofa and a sympathetic ear, stat.

Enter Max, aspiring makeup artist and Jeremy’s BFF and former roommate.

Max has been in love with his best friend forever. Now that Jeremy is back in his home, his old feelings are back, too. He’s happy to help his friend, but this time…it’s complicated.

When Jeremy gets his big break in a new show, the message of the play hits home. “Live life to the fullest” means recognizing how he really feels about Max, and that’s not complicated at all. Jeremy’s in love, and wants to move full steam ahead.

But Max has waited too long for Jeremy to look at him this way, and he doesn’t want to risk his heart. If this is just a rebound fling, or if Jeremy is only interested in Max because he’s convenient, it will not only shatter him—it will ruin the best friendship he’s ever known.

And the cover:

Pre-order here! (I set up a universal link so you can get to the bookstore of your choice.)