Now Available: Elite Athletes 2: Stick the Landing

Stick the Landing

It’s here! My second Elite Athletes book, Stick the Landing, is available for your reading pleasure. A gymnast after gold… a retired figure skater who knows a thing or two about adversity… hot summer days and nights in Madrid…

A few years ago, I met a sports writer at a party whose beat was mostly gymnastics, and she led me into this whole new world of gymnastics podcasts and fan websites and YouTube channels that proved instrumental in my research for this book. So although you don’t need to know anything about gymnastics to understand the book, there’s a little extra for the fans here. Hopefully I didn’t make any mistakes!

Anyway, here’s more about the book:

Jake Mirakovitch might be the best gymnast in the world, but there’s one big problem: he chokes in international competition. The least successful of a family of world-class gymnasts, he has struggled to shake off nerves in the past. This time he’s determined to bring home the gold no matter what.

Retired figure skater Topher Caldwell wants a job as a commentator for the American network that covers the Olympics, and at the Summer Olympics in Madrid, he has a chance to prove himself with a few live features. He can’t afford to stumble.

Olympic victories eluded Topher, so he knows about tripping when it really counts. When he interviews Jake, the two bond over the weight of all that pressure. The flamboyant reporter attracts the kind of attention Jake–stuck in a glass closet–doesn’t want, but Jake can’t stay away. Topher doesn’t want to jeopardize his potential new job, and fooling around with a high-profile athlete seems like a surefire way to do just that. Yet Topher can’t stay away either…

Get it now wherever you buy ebooks!

You can also follow me on BookBub to get info about my new releases or add the book on Goodreads.

And the mass market paperback hits shelves in October!

If you missed it, Book 1, Here Comes the Flood is already out and Book 3 will be out this fall! (Book 3, Race for Redemption is a jock/nerd romance but both are track runners. I’m stoked for you guys to read that one next!)

Elite Athletes 2: Stick the Landing, available for pre-order

Stick the Landing

These are distracting times! The book has actually been up for pre-order for a few weeks, and I completely forgot to tell anyone.

There will be no Olympics in 2020, or probably much in the way of athletic competition (I’ll believe baseball’s back when I see it), but if you need that sports fix, here’s a new book for you!

What happens when a great gymnast prone to choking meets a retired figure skater who was denied his own gold medal?

Stick the Landing

Jake Mirakovitch might be the best gymnast in the world, but there’s one big problem: he chokes in international competition. The least successful of a family of world-class gymnasts, he has struggled to shake off nerves in the past. This time he’s determined to bring home the gold no matter what.

Retired figure skater Topher Caldwell wants a job as a commentator for the American network that covers the Olympics, and at the Summer Olympics in Madrid, he has a chance to prove himself with a few live features. He can’t afford to stumble.

Olympic victories eluded Topher, so he knows about tripping when it really counts. When he interviews Jake, the two bond over the weight of all that pressure. The flamboyant reporter attracts the kind of attention Jake—stuck in a glass closet—doesn’t want, but Jake can’t stay away. Topher doesn’t want to jeopardize his potential new job, and fooling around with a high-profile athlete seems like a surefire way to do just that. Yet Topher can’t stay away either….

(I know we’re not supposed to pick favorites, but this is my sentimental favorite from the series, not gonna lie.)

The book hits virtual shelves on July 28! Pre-order from your favorite ebook store!

And mass market paperbacks will be out in October!

New Release! Elite Athletes 1: Here Comes the Flood

The Flood has arrived!

At the Summer Olympics, a swimmer who hit rock bottom meets a diver who hates the spotlight. There’s sports, there’s romance, there’s tabloid scandal. Get Here Comes the Flood now! (This link goes to retailers selling the ebook. Paperbacks are coming one month from now, on May 26!)

This series has been a long time coming. It seems like a million years ago now, but I moved in the summer of 2016, and the process was so stressful that I didn’t really write anything for a couple of months. But I have always been a huge fan of the Olympics, so I spent that July distracting myself by consuming all of the Olympics-related media possible. (I’m working on a Special Features post that will delve into that more. There shall be book recs and videos! Stay tuned!)

Then one morning in August, the day after the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Games, I woke up with the book idea fully formed in my head. I literally got out of bed, walked across my apartment, sat at my desk, and wrote out the whole plot. I wrote the first draft over about three weeks, most of that time with sports on in the background.

That book went through revisions and beta reads and edits, of course, but I was so excited about the idea while I was writing the first draft that I teased it on social media at the time. And I’m still excited now! The 2020 Olympics may be postponed, but this book is finally out in the world.

And two more are coming!

Book 2, Stick the Landing, is about a brilliant gymnast who tends to choke in big competitions. He meets a retired figure skater who is at the Olympics to do puff pieces for the American TV network, and he knows a thing or two about choking. The pre-order for ebooks should be up at your favorite retailer any day now, but the paperback is up on Amazon now. (The ebook will be out July 28. The paperback will be out in October.)

Book 3, Race for Redemption, is about track runners. One is a flashy sprinter trying to repair a tarnished reputation, the other is an engineering student who uses math to make his hurdles races better. They’re total opposites, but also meant for each other obviously. I believe that book will be out this fall.

I really love this series and I’m excited for it to be out in the world. I hope you guys love it, too!

Pop Culture in a Pandemic

The last… few weeks… month… year… have been pretty terrible for everyone. For self-care reasons, I’m binging more entertainment than usual. (I already work from home and usually just have cable news on during the day, but sometimes you just have to check out.) So I thought it might be fun to share some of what I’ve been binging. Feel free to share what’s getting you through in the comments.

First, a podcast rec! Today, I binged Hall of Shame, a podcast on which two funny ladies talk about sports scandals. Definitely recommended if you, like me, miss sports.

On TV, I’ve been watching the current season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is still hilarious. And I think my favorite new show is Zoey’s Imaginary Playlist, which manages to combine humor, heart, and big musical numbers into a pretty entertaining hour of television. My one niggle is that there’s a love triangle, which is not my favorite trope. (And I have Very Strong Feelings about which guy Zoey should pick!) If you haven’t seen it, the premise is basically that after an accident, Zoey can hear people’s thoughts in the form of pop songs, often with accompanying choreographed dance numbers. Which sounds goofy, but Zoey works out pretty quickly that part of this new “power” is that she has to help the people who sing to her, and some of them have pretty difficult problems.

On Netflix, I watched all of Sex Education over two weekends and loved it. (And am dying for the next season, they need to get on that.) This show has a lot of nudity for a show about teenagers, but maybe that’s the prudish American in me talking. If you haven’t seen it, the premise is that Otis is an awkward teenage boy whose mother is a sex therapist, played by Gillian Anderson! Enough of her work has rubbed off on Otis that his crush Maeve talks him into setting up a business at school wherein Otis—despite having zero sexual experience himself—advises his classmates about their sex problems. Meanwhile, Otis’s best friend Eric is an out-and-proud gay kid from a very conservative family who, in the first season, is not so happy when Otis blows him off to spend more time with Maeve. Maeve is a “bad girl” but it turns out her family is The Worst and she’s actually really smart. There’s Adam, the obligatory psychotic jackass, which, if you’ve watched Veronica Mars, you will correctly surmise means there is more to his character than just a bully. There’s Jackson, the school’s head boy, the classic popular jock who is secretly buckling under the pressure his moms put on him. The rest of the supporting cast is also great. (Also, I was tickled to see Jim Howick playing one of the teachers. He’s a regular on a British kids show called Horrible Histories that I watched all of last year, because it’s basically a sketch comedy show about history, and what’s not to like about that? A lot of potty humor, though, so your mileage may vary with that.)

I’m watching some reality shows, too. I thought Next in Fashion on Netflix was okay. Maybe a little slow. It has the Great British Bake Off element of all of the contestants basically being nice people who get along, but it otherwise felt a little like a low-rent Project Runway. (I’m looking forward to the Heidi Klum/Tim Gunn show on Amazon but haven’t gotten there yet.) And, look, I’m watching The Masked Singer, which is weird and dumb, and I don’t even care.

Also, this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race is pretty stellar. This was maybe my favorite runway ever:

And I’ve of course been reading. I’m making my way through a box of old historical romances a friend sent me. (Today, Box 2 arrived, and it’s a lot of Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood, so it’s about to get very Old Skool around here.)

I hope you and yours are healthy and safe and getting through this all right. What are you reading/watching/listening to for distractions?

New old baseball story!

I’m sad but understanding about the baseball season being postponed this year, so now seems like a good time to rerelease my baseball novella, “One Man to Remember.”

The novella takes place in the summer of 1927 in New York City. It’s part Babe Ruth-era baseball, part speakeasy, and all around a romance between a promising rookie baseball player and a stylish sports reporter.

Babe Ruth and the Yankees’ unstoppable batting lineup, Murderers’ Row, is all anyone can talk about. Across town, the Giants’ rookie infielder Skip Littlefield racks up hits, creating a streak to rival the Babe’s. Worried his secrets could get out, he avoids the spotlight, but he catches the attention of lauded sports reporter Walter Selby, a notorious dandy whose sexuality is an open secret. Skip reluctantly agrees to an interview, where sparks fly. Skip can only hope the more charismatic stars will draw attention away from his romance with Walt. Otherwise, his career in baseball—the only thing he’s ever excelled at—could all be over. 

This one was originally published in the Rainbow-Award-winning Playing Ball anthology (winner of best anthology!) in 2015.

Get it now for 99¢!

Universal book link.

Here Comes the Flood is available for pre-order!

Book 1 in my Elite Athletes series, a sports romance series set at the Olympics and covering athletes from a variety of sports, is now up for preorder everywhere!

You can get it from Amazon or wherever you buy ebooks (universal link to available bookstores).

Here Comes the Flood is about a swimmer who has arrived at his fourth Olympics after quitting swimming, falling into a bottle, and then recovering—he has something to prove—and a diver who came out in a splashy way with his (now ex) actor boyfriend, and now just wants the press to leave him alone so he can focus on his sport. They meet in the Aquatics Center locker room and there are sparks… plus lots of sports and drama. You can read more about the book here.

The book hits digital shelves on April 28 and physical shelves on May 26!

Some other useful links:

You can add the book on Goodreads.

You can follow me on BookBub to get a new release notification when the book is available.

watch this space

I’ve had a fairly busy summer. July was nutty, and I’d been looking forward to an uneventful August. And it wasn’t even that August was eventful as such, but… I wrote a book. I spent time with my family. I did a lot of day job work. There was quite a bit of RWA board business in there, and people from out of town came to visit, and I came down with a cold that knocked me out for most of a week, and I babysat my nephew a lot.

I’m never really idle, is my point. And things have been a little stressful the last few weeks… months, really. And I’m really terrible at not working. During the week I was sick, I kept telling myself that what I should do is build a blanket fort around my sofa and stream one of the 47 TV shows I’ve been meaning to check out, and what did I do? When I was actually awake, I mostly did day job stuff and/or tried to work on the book I have due later this fall. (What is wrong with me?)

But! I have a vacation coming up. Ten whole days out of town. I’ve been counting down the days like it’s the end of the school year.

This is all to say that I’ve been bad about updating this space, but I hope people hang on a little longer because I’ve got a lot of stuff coming soon!

I just finished a draft of the first Whitman Street book. It’s a contemporary romance: m/f enemies to lovers, featuring a grouchy veterinarian and the manager of the cat cafe next door. (That’s the book I wrote in August.) And I just got first edits on my second Elite Athletes book… that’s the series coming out next year about Olympic athletes. More about what I’ve got coming up can be found here.

I’m still hoping to get Save the Date, one of my older novellas, reissued soon. The book has been expanded and re-edited, and it has a new cover that still needs a couple of small tweaks, but my goal is to set up a pre-order for that in the near future and have the book out again later this fall. (Save the Date is a rom com about a guy who needs a date to his ex’s wedding.)

So that’s the news that’s fit to print. Stay tuned!

Where to find me at #RWA19

The Romance Writers of America national conference is nearly upon us. It’s here in NYC this year. (If you’re coming, the local chapter has put together a list of restaurants and other resources near the hotel.)

I am now on the national board, so I will be checking into the Marriott on Saturday and spending the week there. I’m not mad I’ll be checking into an air-conditioned hotel in the middle of a heat wave.

Anyway, if you’re attending the conference, here are some of the places I will be:

Thursday:

8:30am: I’m teaching my Better, Faster, Stronger First Drafts workshop.
3:00pm: Sourcebooks Signing. My first book with Sourcebooks won’t be out until 2020, but I’ll bring some swag and will be signing prints that each attendee will receive.

Friday:

11:00am: Kensington Signing (I’ll have copies of Such a Dance)
2:30pm: Carina Signing (I’ll have copies of See the Light)

Saturday:

3:00pm: Literacy Signing! (Locals, this is open to the public! I… have forgotten which books I requested, so it will be a fun surprise. Probably my Dreamspinner titles, I think Out in the Field and The Greek Tycoon’s Green Card Groom.)

I will also be running around like a crazy person. I’ll be that colorful blur you see running by you for most of the conference, I’m guessing. (On top of the above, I’m doing an AMA in the PAN lounge, I plan to attend the RITAs, and I have a handful of Board obligations.)

Recommended Reading for Pride

In honor of June being not only Pride Month, but also the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, I thought it might be fun to put together a list of recommended reads. Not romance, though; books you should read to celebrate the long history of LGBTQ people, which is fascinating an surprising.

So bone up on your history for this Pride!

Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncey

Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb

Love Stories: Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality by Jonathan Ned Katz

When Brooklyn Was Queer by Hugh Ryan

Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York by Donald Albrecht and Stephen Vider (companion to the exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York)

Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day by Peter Ackroyd

I also recently started reading We Are Everywhere by Matthew Reimer and Leighton Brown, the team behind the @lgbt_history account on Instagram, and it’s a wealth of interesting photos, definitely worth a look.

This list is a little male-centric and is composed only of books I’ve actually read; I’m sure there are many other great history books that I would love for you to recommend in the comments!

PS: I wrote some historical gay romances!

In Such a Dance, vaudeville dancer Eddie gets involved with bootlegger Lane in Jazz Age Times Square.

In Ten Days in August, homicide detective Hank meets female impersonator Nicky while investigating a mysterious death at a dance hall.

Where to find me at #BLC19

New Orleans!

The first annual Book Lovers Con is nearly upon us! Writers and readers are descending on New Orleans. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to eating all the good seafood.

Herein lies my schedule:

I’m flying in Wednesday and plan to put in appearances at the Jazz Fest and Cinema Craptastique. But my schedule begins in earnest on Thursday.

Thursday:
8:30am: Morning Smoothie Break with Harlequin (I believe there will be copies of See the Light)

10:00am: Romance Trivia and Signing (I am REALLY GOOD at trivia so you should be excited to have me on your team; I will also be signing copies of See the Light.)

The Lighting Round!
“I am SO GOOD at lightning rounds!”

Friday:
1:30pm: Book Lovers Craft In (get your craft on; we’ll have supplies on-hand!)

3:30pm: Get There Sooner: How to Write Drafts Better, Stronger, and Faster (I’m debuting my class on writing great first drafts in less time)

Rapunzel knitting
Come hang out and knit with us!

Saturday:
10:30am: Book Bash Signing (I’ll have copies of Out in the Field and The Greek Tycoon’s Green Card Groom and The Stars that Tremble for sale)

6:00pm: Bookworm Blowout (I’ll be hanging out and signing; we’re doing something baseball related for me, so you’ll want to check that out)

I think this con is going to be really fun. I hope to see some of you there!