baby, it’s cold outside

This was the scene out my bedroom window yesterday afternoon in the middle of the storm, so you can see 'my' backyard (which has been taken over by the cafe on the first floor) and the yards in back of the surrounding buildings.

Since you’re on the internet, you must be aware that the east coast got quite a storm yesterday. This is going to sound like a ham-fisted stab at book promotion, but this storm was a lot like the one on which I based Kindling Fire with Snow. In Brooklyn, we got about two feet of snow, but this is complicated by the fact that most of the plow operators and sanitation workers who would clean it all up are on vacation for the holidays.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers posting photos of the snow blanketing their lovely yards, but snow is something else in the city. So, I took a couple of photos. You can click on any of these to enlarge them (but I took them with my phone, so they are not that sharp).

This is a block near my apartment this evening. In the distance, there are people digging out their cars.

I am apparently not always of sound mine, because I got up this morning and figured I’d walk to my office. I didn’t learn until I got there that I needn’t have bothered, but I figure I earned some brownie points for hiking all the way there in snow up to my knees (it’s about a mile from my apartment). I came home this evening to find that things had much improved, at least as far as the sidewalks being shoveled, but as far as I can tell, Brooklyn hasn’t really been plowed yet.

This is my block, which, as you can see, hasn't even been plowed yet, as of just before 5pm.

The walk home, just as dusk was falling, was punctuated by the squeal of the tires of cars stuck in snow banks. It makes me pretty glad I don’t drive. Also pretty glad I didn’t have to leave Brooklyn, because a bunch of the trains are still out.

It’s sort of a fun adventure, but it’s sure as heck not easy to walk in. I am, granted, not exactly in peak physical condition, but climbing over those snow drifts was rough on my ankles. Here’s hoping they plow by tomorrow.

The snow day yesterday provided me with a good solid block of writing time, and I was quite productive, so at least we got something out of the storm. 😉

it’s christmastime in the city

For the first five years I lived in New York City, I worked in an office near the corner of 42nd Street and 5th Avenue. If you need a landmark, the New York Public Library is right there (the iconic building with the lions out front). I was also right down the street from Saks and Rockefeller Center, so the whole area was abuzz with activity during the holidays. It was a boon and a bust simultaneously. I have a hard time with big crowds, and there were times when I’d be out to lunch and I’d look up 5th Avenue and see that sea of people crowding the sidewalk and feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, I still think there’s something magical about the city at this time of year, and I’d see glimpses of that and feel some measure of joy. I like things that are simple: someone changing the glass in the chandelier that hung at the entrance to my office building from white to red and green; a guy playing “Silver Bells” on a trumpet for pocket change; the way the lights reflected off all those glass office buildings in midtown.

I’m thankful I don’t work in the middle of everything anymore, but I miss it sometimes, also. Still, there’s something kind of charming about Brooklyn during the holiday season. All those brownstones with tasteful wreaths or garlands out front makes my neighborhood feel very Victorian to me, like I’ve walked into a new movie version of A Christmas Carol. Sure, you get the people who have Santas hanging off their balconies and plenty of tacky flashing lights, but there’s this one house near my office that’s just gorgeous, with old fashioned decorations hanging from the gas lamp in front of their front stoop.

It’s nice to think about that, as I’ve felt a little grinchy this year. Saturday, I went with a couple of friends to the Central Park holiday market, a European-style open-air market near Columbus Circle. Sometimes there’s magic to be found there, too, but mostly I was too distracted by the crowds and my need to find some last-minute gifts to find it.

I’ll start looking for it again, though.

In book-related news, my upcoming novel The Boy Next Door went off to the proofreader a few days ago. I saw the initial cover mock-up, too, and it looks great! (I’ll post when I get the final.) That will be out from Loose Id on January 25th. It’s about a man who moves back to his home town and winds up living next door to his childhood friend (and teenage crush). I’ll have more to say about that as the release date gets closer. A LOT of work went into this novel, so I’m glad to see the light at the end of this tunnel, and I’m really excited for it to finally be published.

Dreamspinner promotion

Dreamspinner Press is doing a great promotion this month:

This year let Dreamspinner make your eBook dreams come true. Each day from Dec. 26- Dec. 31, we will draw one name from the customers that purchased during the month of December to win every eBook on their wish list.

So, say, you moseyed on over there to buy Kindling Fire with Snow (I mean, just as a suggestion) and then saw a bunch of other titles you liked. You could win them by adding them to your wish list. Pretty cool, huh?

review roundup

I don’t know if other authors read reviews, but I totally do. I will admit to occasionally having, “What, no, why would you think that?” reactions, but I’ve found that even when reviews are critical, I often agree.

Well, here are some positive reviews that have been posted in the last week! Hard to argue with that!

First, 4 out of 5 stars for Kindling Fire with Snow from Lily at I Love Books. (“Overall Kindling Fire with Snow is an engaging, sexy, emotional and satisfying read. Recommended.”)

Second, 4 out of 5 stars for Kindling Fire from Janna at E-Romance Reader. (“Thanks to this author’s fluent writing, nice character building (for such few pages) and vivid portraying and picturing of the setting, I truly enjoyed this story.”)

And finally! I attended the New York City NaNoWriMo Thank God It’s Over party and offered up a signed copy of In Hot Pursuit to the fundraising raffle. My new writing buddy Tamsin won it and reviewed it on her blog. (“What I love about this book, other than it’s fast pace, witty humor, and fun leading man is that the primary focus isn’t the sex…its how Noah’s broken heart gets the chance to heal….the sex is a natural part of the relationship that blossoms from the situation(s) and is never unwarranted (even the hot scene in the bathroom—or shall I say the FIRST hot scene in the bathroom?—Chapter Two!). Yeah, its a little more often than in other books but hey, ITS A ROMANCE PEOPLE…that’s how they roll.”) Hee. Tamsin flashed the super hot cover at people on the subway, which makes me a little giddy.

So, yeah. Sounds good, right? You want to read these books? Click on the linkies.

Speaking of good books, the Rainbow Awards were announced today. I was one of the jurors. I’ve read a number of the winning books, and there’s some really great stuff here if you’re looking for something to read. Big congratulations to all of the winners!

holiday story freebie

I wrote a short m/m Christmas story last year, it’s been up here on the site for a while. I decided to pretty it up a bit, so if all that text on a webpage is bothersome, you can now read the story as a PDF.

Download here: “In December, My Heart’s Full of Spring”.

It’s about two lonely people who meet on the roof of the Empire State Building on Christmas Eve. It was inspired in part by the quote from which the story takes its name, which I take to mean that even when things are rough, I have hope.

Note: this version has been edited a tiny bit from the version that’s been up on this website (I fixed a couple of grammatical flubs).

So, download! Read! Enjoy this holiday season!