Archive for April, 2012

release week roundup!

It’s been a hell of a week! I’m so thrilled and overwhelmed and humbled by the response I’ve gotten to Out in the Field! THANK YOU to everyone who has read it so far and taken the time to review and talk it up.

I’ve been around the interwebz this week, so here are some linkies:

• I wrote a post for Chicks and Dicks called Out for You and Parallel Lines, talking about the Gay For You/Out For You trope.

• I wrote a post for the Loose Id author blog on sports romances and setting

• I wrote about why I love baseball at Coffee and Porn in the Morning. (I’m pretty proud of this essay, actually. You should go read it.)

And, for something I didn’t write, I think Lauraadrianna liked the book a tiny bit.

Out in the Field Giveaway!

Out in the FieldI want to give away a copy of Out in the Field!

Here’s all you have to do: Leave me a comment telling me about some sports or competitive team memory when something really awesome happened. It could be going to see your favorite team win big, it could be your high school’s soccer team triumphing over defeat like in a teen movie, it could be, for those of us who are less athletically inclined, your chess club finding checkmate when all seemed hopeless.

Example: Back when tickets to the bleachers at old Yankee Stadium were still $5, I went to a Yankees-Red Sox game in which Andy Pettite pitched badly and the Red Sox beat the pants off the Yankees. Friends of mine from Boston came with me to the game and were obnoxious in that Boston fan way. I was kind of mortified. But then the Yankees handily won the rest of the games in that series and all was right with the world again. The end.

The contest will be open for two weeks starting today, so leave a comment by midnight EST on May 12th to be entered to win. I’ll draw a winner at random on the 13th and announce it here as well as email the winner.

Good luck!

[Note: Comments are moderated, so if I’m not near a computer, it might take a little while for your comment to show up, but I will approve all comments made by real people that are not spam!]

Out in the Field now available!

Out in the FieldHappy release day to me!

Out in the Field is now available from Loose Id!

BLURB:

Matt Blanco has had a hall-of-fame worthy career as the first baseman for the legendary Brooklyn Eagles, but age and a knee injury are threatening to end it. That’s when rookie Ignacio Rodriguez walks into his life. Matt has a policy of not getting involved with anyone for fear that they might share his secret with the world: that he’s a gay professional athlete. But this new rookie has him wanting to throw that policy out the window.

Iggy Rodriguez just got everything he ever wanted: a position in the starting lineup of the Brooklyn Eagles, his favorite team since he was a kid. Even better, he’s playing alongside his idol Matt Blanco. A locker room encounter one day reveals that he and Matt have even more in common than he would have guessed.

When Matt and Iggy fall for each other, they have a hard road ahead, their path to happiness blocked by injuries, trades, and the New York media hungry for a scandal. It looks like they will have to face the choice between love and baseball. Which will they choose?

baseball eye candy

I think baseball is not a sport that is usually correlated with hotness. This is my theory on why there are so many m/m romances with football or hockey players—big dudes who like to, uh, tackle each other. But I am here to disabuse you of the notion that baseball is not sexy, because it is! Here is some photographic evidence (click on these to embiggen them!):

Chase Utley

Chase Utley, 2nd base, Phillies
(Chase, I would like you more if you got off the DL and earned my fantasy team some points. You do me no good by sitting on the bench. Please get better soon. Thank you.)

Grady Sizemore

Grady Sizemore, center field, Indians

David Wright

David Wright, 3rd base, Mets

Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer, Catcher, Twins
Can’t leave off my baseball boyfriend. Here’s some more.

And now for the Yankee-centric portion of this blog post:

A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez, 3rd base
A-Rod. Not so much the greatest human being. Totally useless last post-season. Not hard on the eyes.

Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano, 2nd base
This guy’s already a legend.

Nick Swisher

Nick Swisher, right field
Swish always looks thrilled. Happiest guy in baseball right there.

Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson, center field
I love this guy. Great ballplayer, seems like a great guy, and he’s adorable.

Mark Texieira

Mark Texieira, 1st base
I mean, do the Yankees have an attractive infield or what?

Derek Jeter

Don’t worry, Derek!

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter, shortstop
I could never leave you off this list!

So there’s your little bit of baseball hotness for the day. For more, Out in the Field is now available!

Here’s a whole slide show of hot baseball players! Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite player that I egregiously left off the list? Add him in the comments. Pictures encouraged!

one of those times

I had a pretty intense week. With the upcoming publication of Out in the Field (Tuesday!) and my various other projects, most of my concentration had been on my writing, but then a bunch of stuff came up to my divert my attention. It was one of those weeks that made me sort of reevaluate my priorities—not that anything drastic will be changing, but I think there are things that happen sometimes that make you realize what’s really important.

Brooklyn Bridge The County of Kings (otherwise known as Brooklyn) saw fit to put me on a trial jury this week. That was kind of an interesting experience. The case ultimately settled without input from the jury, but I went to court for two days and sat in the jury box and listened to testimony. It was kind of a fun break in my routine, although man, justice does not move fast. I think I probably spent more time sitting in the deliberation room than I actually did in the court room. I read a lot while I was stuck sitting around, and I’m working on a post about some of my observations. (I was on a historical romance kick and I had some thoughts about why the genre was so popular.) I also liked walking around Downtown Brooklyn. That area maybe holds a special place in my heart because a) it was one of the first places in Brooklyn I got a chance to explore after I moved here, and b) I’m a history nerd (if that wasn’t obvious) and Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn has a LOT of interesting history. The courthouses are at the foot of the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. I had plans with a friend of mine at a place on the Lower East Side Wednesday night, so I decided to just walk there when court let out that afternoon. The weather was a little dreary, but it’s still a nice walk (that’s when/where this photo was taken—click to embiggen; you can see the still-under-construction tower they’re building where the WTC used to be on the left there). I then took a circuitous route up through lower Manhattan and Chinatown and the LES, which I enjoyed.

Some family stuff came up, too, which has been a little bit taxing emotionally. Some of my extended family came to New York to visit/help out, which was really great. My parents are both midwesterners who moved to the Northeast when I was a toddler, so pretty much all of my extended family lives a fair distance away and I don’t see them as often as I’d like. We had dinner Friday night at a seafood restaurant at South Street Seaport, which is a silly touristy thing to do, but the restaurant had a spectacular view up the East River of the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges.

Most of yesterday was spent working on the family stuff, and then I went out dancing last night, so I’m pretty tired today. I’m catching up on things, basically.

Final business: Thanks to everyone who has taken the RRW romance reader survey! Your input is really valuable to us. If you haven’t taken it yet, you can find it here.

And, to fulfill my hot baseball player quotient, here’s a video of Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher on How I Met Your Mother a few years ago:

Romance Reader Survey!

Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America, is conducting a survey of romance writers in which we (yes, we; full disclosure: I’m a member and helped create the survey) are asking nosy questions about your reading habits and genre preferences, among other things. If you’ve got five minutes, we would greatly, greatly appreciate your taking the time to respond. We’re looking to get responses from a wide swath of romance readers, not just readers of LGBT romance, so we want to hear from everyone. Tell your friends! Pass it around!

Take the survey!

big news, small news

Joe Mauer can't help but be adorable.Lots of things to talk about! Today’s post shall be sponsored by the adorable Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer, because I think all posts for the next couple of weeks should be accompanied by photos of hot baseball players.

• Last week’s Beat Your Winter Blues was over at JP Barnaby’s, and we discussed our favorite first signs of spring. There’s still time to enter to win the grand prize!

• You can head on over to Chris’s blog to win a copy of Out in the Field!

• I’m doing some website tweaking. Thanks to my friends Stacy and Alexis for helping me come up with a tagline, which is something I have been agonizing over for a while. I do sweat the small stuff sometimes, I guess. My writers group has been referring to my books as “baseball and gay sex” since before I was published, which, while accurate, is not the catchiest of taglines.

• I wrote a short story for the Goodreads M/M Group‘s Love Is Always Write event. I believe that will be available for (free!) download in late May or early June.

Out in the Field will be out a week from today! I’ve booked a trip on a mini blog tour, so I’m gonna be all up in your face for the next few weeks. :)

Out in the Field excerpt

David RobertsonThis is Yankees pitcher David Robertson, and he is here because he’s on my shortlist of potential baseball boyfriends. (I mean, seriously. How cute is this?) Also, he would like to tell you that I’ve posted an excerpt of Out in the Field, and you can find it over here. Enjoy!

Miss Mary Sunshine

I’m generally an upbeat, positive person. Glass half-full and all that. I get angry and upset and have strong opinions about things, but at the end of the day, I try to see the bright side, the silver lining, try to end the day with a smile. So sometimes I think about commenting on whatever controversies are wending their ways through the Internet, but usually opt not to, both because I’d rather not wade into it and because I’d rather see the happier side of things.

I had the flu last week. I think I got hit with “con crud” from a weekend spent in close quarters with a lot of people plus my body sort of just shut down after a long period of stress and not enough sleep. I didn’t get out of bed for two days, for some taste of the severity of it. I consequently literally slept through all of last week’s Internet kerfuffles, and I think I’m probably better for it. Whenever some fight breaks out in the m/m community, I always feel disheartened and upset, mostly because the Mary Sunshine part of my personality asserts itself and says, “Stop fighting! We’re much better together!”

So, positive things! I got to meet Suzanne Brockmann this past weekend. I’ll just say it: she’s one of my idols. I love the Troubleshooters series; so much of it just works for me: her voice, the tightly-wove suspense, the complex plots, the interesting cast, the willingness to wade into political issues. (Also, my friends can tell you all about my fascination with sailors. Fleet Week is like Christmas for me. You put a hot guy in a crisp white uniform and… hello.) I think Brockmann is actually sort of inadvertently responsible for my getting into this biz at all; I read Hot Target shortly before I discovered m/m proper and was so excited to read about gay characters that I wanted more books with them and started writing my own.

At the time, I don’t think I really appreciated how revolutionary putting a gay pairing in a mainstream romance series was as an act. I was too busy enjoying the books on their own merits—the way that Jules and Robin’s arc is drawn out over several books is delicious, and when they finally get their HEA, you want to scream in triumph, it’s so good. (Not to gush, but…)

Anyway! Brockmann (or “Suz,” she told me I could call her Suz) was at a bookstore on Saturday, so I shored myself up with cold meds and went to see her. I was, needless to say, very excited. Happily, Suz is fun and friendly and enthusiastic in person. And we got to chat some about the Rainbow Romance Writers (of which we are both members) and gay romance and gay rights and so on.

We talked some about gay romance going mainstream. Suz is the author of a couple of m/m shorts that take place in the Troubleshooters universe, plus there’s the whole Robin/Jules arc in the books, and her new series, while primarily a het series, has a gay subplot. (I may have more to say to that later; I’m about 100 pages into Born to Darkness.) But that’s one of the things that Rainbow Romance Writers is doing—we want to take gay romance mainstream. We want it to be commercially available to everyone, we want to reach readers who don’t know m/m romance is a thing, we want to see our books in bookstores alongside all of the other romance on the shelves.

I think it’s an exciting time to be a writer in that way, because I feel like we’re really on the verge of something, of breaking through in a bigger way.

So it’s exciting to me that Suzanne Brockmann has a m/m ebook short coming out this summer. (I just read the story last night, actually, because I got a print copy on Saturday. It’s a Jules/Robin story that may or may not make sense without the context of the series, but it’s a really sweet addition to their story. And When Tony Met Adam came out a year ago, of course. That’s more of a standalone because Tony and Adam are relatively minor characters in the larger Troubleshooters universe.) She pointed out that the book will be published by Random House, which is kind of a Big Deal.

I believe this is important, not just from a sales POV, but because I’ve heard from readers who are excited to see gay lives portrayed positively and with happy endings in fiction, and, you know, love is love. It deserves a place in bookstores just as surely as het romances do.

I saw Suz again on Monday at Lady Jane’s Salon (that NYC’s romance reading series). There was a huge crowd, and, I would say, some enthusiasm for the m/m pairings in Suz’s books. So that’s a great thing to see. (The other readers on Monday were also so much fun that I bought their books as well. Everybody wins!)

So there’s your look-to-the-future, happy optimistic moment for the day!

Also! Be sure to check out this week’s Beat Your Winter Blues, in which I and some other authors talk about our favorite winter movies.